New store at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre looks to bridge gap between big and small retailers
It has been a difficult year for small retailers across the city with people urged to support local, and a newly opened store at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre is doing just that.
Curated Makers is the latest store to open at Meadowhall and sells a selection of unique handcrafted products from up to 40 local brands, including jewellery by Lyon + Feather, and artisan soaps by Elsie Moss Botanical, as well as artwork and cards inspired by Yorkshire dialect from Me and Thee.
Other products being sold at the shop include illustrated drawings of Sheffield’s favourite pubs by Josephine Dellow, a selection of perfumes by Abbey Perfumery, unique resin jewellery hand-poured and created by Dania of Whylder Mills and photography of local sights and scenery by Kate Cooper Photography.
Curated Makers is a collaborative retail platform that supports small businesses on the high street by creating innovative retail opportunities within high footfall locations.
It gives customers a unique shopping experience whilst also creating new opportunities for makers and artists, along with supporting the British high-street by championing local creatives.
Curated Makers was founded in 2017 by Megan Jones, who wanted to give small brands the chance to showcase their work on the high street.
Megan Jones said: “Collaborating with Meadowhall and its co-owner British Land to open our first-ever pop-up store for visitors is a giant step forwards for supporting small businesses.
“We know our customers love our unique offering of beautifully made, small-batch, high-quality gifts and homewares. Since starting on a stall in a local market back in 2017, when I took three to four brands to market at once, this is a real pinch-me moment! We’re so excited to welcome shoppers through the doors.”
While this is the first standalone store, the retailer has previously hosted concessions within John Lewis, Paperchase, and M&S across the North West, promoting items from at least 300 small businesses.
Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, said: “We’re thrilled that Megan has chosen to open the first-ever standalone Curated Makers here at Meadowhall, and it’s a concept we really believe in. Supporting local independent retailers is so important to us, and in opening this store, it means we now have a total of 40 independent retailers at the centre, and that’s something we’re really proud of.”
Meet the makers
Abbey Perfumery was set up in November 2020 by Jess Brailey and sells a range of perfumes that are Vegan, cruelty-free and handmade in Sheffield.
"I've always had a passion for perfume - the memories it can evoke, and the way it can help you get a bit of 'you' back on a tough day. At the beginning of 2020, during the first COVID-19 lockdown, it felt like everyone needed a pick-me-up, so that's what propelled Abbey Perfumery forwards for me - creating something that would make people smile,” says Jess.
Lyon + Feather are a UK based jewellery company founded in 2013 by fashion stylist Natasha Lyons.
After working with clients in the music and celebrity industry for 14 years, she realised there was a hole in the fashion market for beautifully crafted pieces that were effortlessly timeless.
After 12 months of research and buying overseas, Lyon + Feather was born.
Everything is proudly produced in Sheffield, from the 9ct gold pieces, the presentation box and pouches to the logo and printing.
Darwin and Grey are a textile design brand that makes unique and quality prints, banners, glassware and patches.
Stacey MacDonald, local maker and founder of Darwin and Gray, which will be available at Curated Makers in Meadowhall, said: “Curated Makers represents the unrepresented through bringing the small businesses of the north to the high street. We’re so thankful to Megan and Curated Makers for giving Darwin & Gray a platform to be seen, and better yet, shopped.”
Elsie Moss Botanical is an independent producer of cruelty-free and vegan soaps and has an environmentally friendly ethos.
Founder of Elsie Moss, Lisa Hutchinson, said: “Elsie Moss Botanical was born from a love of, and a slight addiction to, handmade soaps. Like many others, I began buying soap instead of shower gel to cut down on my plastic waste.
“I decided to have a go at making soap just for myself at first and later, family and friends. Before I knew it, I was hooked, and the idea for Elsie Moss Botanical was born. I named the business after my amazing late Grandmother, who raised thirteen children pretty much single-handed after losing her husband in a tragic work accident.
"From the start, I knew that the business would have a strong ethos of kindness, and this has become the backbone of everything I do. All my products are cruelty-free and vegan, contain no palm oil, parabens or SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) and are wrapped in paper.
“I am committed to being as low waste as possible, and my wrappers, labels, packaging and parcel tape are entirely plastic-free; in fact, I have very recently been awarded a ‘Plastic Free Champion’ award by Surfers Against Sewage.
The Curated Makers store located on Upper Park Lane at Meadowhall Shopping Centre had a grand opening on Friday, August 27.
A spokesperson for Curated Makers said: “Setting up our very own shop has been the dream for a long time, and it has been worth all the blood, sweat and tears to make it a reality.
“Curated Maker's exists to be a collaborative retail platform that bridges the gap between big and small businesses, and so being able to bring our makers to a shopping destination like Meadowhall felt like a huge opportunity. We have many successful and established high street brands around our store, and we are very excited to be able to champion our makers right alongside them.
“We had an awesome mini launch on Friday evening, where we cut the red ribbon and invited all the makers involved to get the first preview of our brand new store. It was a very special and surreal evening for everyone to finally be able to mingle and catch up, with a drink and cake in hand. We even had our first sales from some lovely customers who were drawn in when passing by, topping off an incredible evening! We are so grateful to everyone that has been a part of the journey and supporting us in true collaboration, not competition spirit! Seeing everything come together has fueled us to keep fighting and finding more unique opportunities for our small businesses!
“To say the least, we are feeling the love, and it's making us very excited for the future of this store and the opportunities that having our own space will bring.”
They added: “If you are planning a trip to Meadowhall, make sure to come and see what the fuss is about. Our amazing team would be more than happy to help you find something totally unique, or even just for a chat.”
As a thank you to customers who are supporting small businesses, Curated Makers are giving away a free 'Be Reyt' Postcard by Maria from Me&Thee with every purchase in their opening week.
The store is open until 9 pm on weekdays, 8 pm Saturdays, and 5 pm on Sundays.
For more information about Curated Makers, visit www.curatedmakers.co.uk or their Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/curatedmakers/