ANNOUNCEMENT!

A change is on the horizon!  After nearly 3 years of running the Chorlton Art Market shop, my partner and I will soon be leaving to begin a new challenge in Scotland.  We are currently in talks with a few traders about them taking over, so hopefully Chorlton will still be the home to the greatest shop in the world!  We’d like to say a massive Thank You to all our wonderful customers and traders for keeping us going over the years – your support means everything to us.

It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to set up The Chorlton Art Market back in 2013.  After a year of running it as an outdoor market, I knew that there was a chance I could bring something special to the unloved precinct and so we opened our doors in November 2014.  I have always referred to the shop as one of my children – albeit one which is very needy and demands a huge amount of attention – but I love it dearly and I am proud of what my partner and I have managed to build from nothing.  We had no loans, no money from Mummy and Daddy and no savings, but we had more than enough passion and determination to make it happen.  People told me that we couldn’t do it and that it would never work (”surely you don’t want a business in the precinct?!”), but this only ever served to make me more certain than ever that we could make a success of it.  It has not been easy, but nothing worth having ever is.

Our next chapter will see us running a B&B in Dumfriesshire which we are ridiculously excited about!  We hope that all our loyal customers will come and stay with us – we’ll let you know all the details soon.  But, in the mean time keep an eye out in the shop for lots of great bargains over the next few months, and keep your fingers crossed that the CAM dream will continue after we have gone!

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO GMPF #1

This is an open letter to GMPF, our business landlord.  It is highly probable that it will be the first of many such letters over the next 18 months.

Dear GMPF,

Ten years ago this month I moved to Chorlton as a bit of a stop gap whilst I figured out what to do with my life.  And, as life has panned out in the unexpected way that it does, I never left and I am now happily settled, raising two children and running a successful business in this strange but loveable suburb.

A heatwave was just kicking in on the day I came here back in 2006 which made the whole exciting move even more full of promise.  We were in a whole new world of beer gardens, open mic nights and roof top BBQs!  I remember going off to explore my new surroundings and stumbling upon the precinct and wondering if I had stepped into a 70’s verion of the Twilight Zone.  And I don’t mean that as a negative – for me it felt special and was somewhere full of untapped potential.  I always knew that it would inevitably be updated at some point, but I could very clearly picture a way to do it and still retain some of its nostalgic charm.

In the time I have lived here, Chorlton precinct has had at least 3 owners to my knowledge.  And over the years, rumours of redevelopment have been ever present.  I remember public consultations and architectural plans aplenty, but then the recession hit and all these plans were, I guess, put on the back burner. 

For me, the timing was perfect.  In 2011 I had my first child which gave me the opportunity to see those shop units in the precinct sitting empty and I began to formulate a long term plan – I knew by then that I wanted a business in Chorlton precinct and I was going to find a way to make it happen, no matter what.

Fast forward to the present day and that goal has been achieved…for now.  I understood when I signed my lease that it expired in 2018 but I didn’t worry because I don’t think I fully appreciated the potential that my business had back then.  I guess I thought I’d be just content to have a shop for a few years and I didn’t really consider too far ahead.  But time is ticking fast and battle mode is setting in.

I now have 3 children – a girl one, a boy one and a shop one.  I unashamedly admit to loving the non-human one just as much as the human ones.  The roots of all 3 are connected to the precinct to some degree and I can’t accept that in less than 2 years it could all be over if all the spaces are allocated to large corporations.  We have all worked hard to create something special in a part of Chorlton which we truly love.  The Chorlton Art Market belongs in the precinct.

My fear is that the redevelopment will see the precinct turned into a soulless identikit plastic mall when I know that it has the potential to be something truly special and something which could be a real gem for Chorlton.  As anyone who has ever lived here will tell you, Chorlton is a beautifully weird place, filled with people with a great sense of social pride and I believe that you, the landlords, have an amazing opportunity to create something that will sit pride of place in your property portfolio.

When the time comes, please consider the fate of my family business – a business which supports over 60 other local people and a business which is loved by an ever-growing customer base.  In a place like Chorlton, with a bit of imagination something ‘different’ has the potential to thrive…but only if the opportunities are there. Please don’t forget about us when you make your plans.

CAM Hub – Some essential infomation

For November and December, Chorlton will be getting an new pop-up shop – The CAM Hub. Local artists and designers will have the opportunity to sell their work…and just in time for Christmas! This blog post is just to give potential traders some of the lowdown about how the shop will work, and how you can get involved.

* The shop is in Chorlton precinct and will be opening on Saturday 1st November. We will be open 6 days a week from 9.30 – 5.30.

* Our shop will have space for 30 different arists and designers with a range of sizes and prices from £10 per week. You will be required to sign up for 2 week periods at a time. You will not be charged comission on any items sold.

* Half the shop will feature gridwall stands for artists to display framed work. The other half of the shop will be dedicated to handcrafted items. We will also have a featured ‘Baby & Child’ section for work which fits this theme.

* Traders selling in the shop do not have to be present – the shop will be fully staffed. There will be the opportunity for some traders to work in the shop for a small wage, although this is not compulsory.

* We would like to invite anyone who is interested in getting involved to come and check out the shop, any time during the day on Friday 24th October. By this time, the shop fittings etc will be in so you will be able to see the layout. The spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis from this date. All payments for the first 2 weeks would need to be paid by the end of Sunday 26th.

If you have any further questions, please email us at: chorltonartmarket@gmail.com. And don’t forget – come and see us on the 24th to bag your spot in this exciting new project.