Artisan & Vintage Celebrate One Year in Business

What a year to set up in Business!

Artisan & Vintage in Dumfries is celebrating one year in business on Saturday 14th November 2020

A one year old with 100 years of makers know-how behind them.

It’s a year now since studio neighbours at the stable yard Drumlanrig Castle, Anne and Christine, decided to try a pop-up shop in Dumfries.

Not just a “set up a stall” type of pop up, but taking four weeks out to transform a sad disused corner shop in Dumfries to something like its former glory, as a Dumfries retail landmark, on one of the town’s busiest corners.

“We were overwhelmed by the local support given to us during last year’s Christmas season, which kept going through February and March when of course, we had to temporarily close down like everyone else”.

It’s a work in progress.

The two friends collaborated and now support a community of over 27 local artists and makers including a woodturner, ceramicists, soap-makers, a candle maker and many more as well as their own vintage, upcycled furniture, wool art and craft kits side of the business. Christine has also just commissioned local production of one of the components that go in her craft kits, from a long time supplier. She now sells, completely made in the UK, Drop Spindle kits.

That’s a first for Artisan & Vintage. Anne has added a popular vintage book corner and has had some very welcome and rare book finds.

In the first 4 months from opening, they had over 60 course participants in their craft and upcycling classes with classes planned for the rest of the year before COVID-19 struck. The waiting list is still growing for when they can safely offer classes again. One of the little extras they provide during their workshops is to put on a mouth-watering afternoon tea in beautiful vintage china.

They’ve also had holidaymaker’s asking if summer workshops would be on offer when they return on holiday.

There is a great local appetite for developing creative skills in Dumfries and Galloway to add to the already strong crafting communities and networks that exist and have been an operation for many years.

Anne has added a popular vintage book corner and has had some very welcome and rare book finds.

Phase Two Begins

Phase two of the shop development has just started. They’ve had to do some essential work to save energy and reduce costs and keep ourselves and our customers warm and cosy when they come in to browse. We had a great consultant John Currie from Zero Waste Scotland who gave great advice on how to save energy. We also used wonderful local Dumfries craftsmen to do the essential work and managed to fit in the work around our opening hours.

We want to make our shop pretty, warm and welcoming for our customers to come in and enjoy shopping for some of those unique and quirky gifts from Dumfries and Galloway. And so that customers can feel that they can shop safely – we’ve added additional Covid safety measures.

About the Team

“Although we have been in business together running our shop ‘Artisan & Vintage’ for just over a year we’ve got 10 years’ experience of running our own small businesses ( TLChic and Fairy Hollow Creations) and we have over 25 years retail and management experience from previous careers.

On top of that, we reckon that our community of artists and makers with their extensive knowledge and background adds over 100 years to the pot.” Anne has many years academic experience in business and management and Christine was in retail before an accident at work meant she had to change her career path into self employment. They both know the enormous benefits of working for themselves but they also know the sheer hard work and multitasking needed by anyone running their own businesses. But they wouldn’t change it for anything.

They’ve called in massive favours from family and friends on their journey and taken advice from wherever it’s going. Locally, Business Gateway the Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Consultants, DGWGO and friendly IT consultants have all provided really good business & skills advice, webinars and courses.

They’ve taken part in and supported lots of campaigns to encourage shopping with little local independent shops and businesses in our local towns i.e.

Totally Locally, Fiver Fest, Not on Dumfries High Street, Dumfries Late Night Christmas Shopping, etc and regularly promote shop small, shop local and support small business on their social media posts.

‘We’re doing everything we can to encourage shopping with small local shops, businesses and independent retailers and to support the one-man bands of artists and makers who are working away on their own. It’s especially important to support local at this time of year which is normally the busiest time for many small businesses. Our local support has really inspired us to keep going’.

So if you’re thinking about learning a new skill or craft, there is enormous satisfaction and therapeutic benefits to be enjoyed. Anne and Christine are often found sharing tips and their knowledge and experience with customers.

Learning a new skill or craft is well known for its therapeutic benefits, improving mental health and enjoyment.

Artisan & Vintage provide lots of craft kits to try out or send as a gift, available from their shop, website and well – known online shops., Although it takes time to set up online selling has become essential for survival for many small businesses and has certainly helped keep us afloat in these challenging times.

Whilst online selling is important, our aim for the shop is to remain part of the local retail community which keeps our towns attractive and vibrant as places to shop and visit and crucial for the local economy.

Now even more than ever, we need our shoppers to come out and support all our local shops, businesses and our local makers, especially the wee independent retailers.

Setting yourself up in business is another big step on from learning the skill and while still very satisfying, is always a challenge, especially with juggling family life.

Running a business is great fun, constantly challenging and an ongoing learning experience.

We hope you’ll drop in on Saturday when we’re celebrating our first birthday.

As a special thank you for all the support and encouragement we’ve received our first 5 customers will receive a goody bag with their purchases.