Category Archives: Handpicked Hall

We’re moving house!

We’ve been a little bit quiet recently as we’ve been very busy behind the scenes – and we’re very excited to tell you that we are moving into our own brand new shiny shop!

We’re leaving Handpicked Hall, but we’re not moving far – our new shop is located in the Grand Arcade directly underneath our old shop (which makes the transporting of stock and fixtures easy in principle)!

Our new shop window!

Our new shop window!

The more observant among you may notice that the window looks familiar – that’s because it was originally part of the downstairs section of Handpicked Hall.  When retailers relocated upstairs to the first floor of Handpicked Hall the downstairs area was sectioned off into new units – our neighbours The Traditional Shaving Company have already moved into the unit next to our new shop (so we will become neighbours once again!) and we are very excited that some of the other Handpicked Hall retailers have also leased other units within the Grand Arcade.  This means that the whole Arcade will be full of Independent Retailers of all shapes and sizes – and we can’t wait!

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So we’re been very busy decorating our lovely new shop in preparation for our move – we close our existing shop on Sunday 23rd March at 4.00pm and  we open our new doors on Thursday 27th March at 10.30am.  We will have new opening hours and will be open Tuesdays through Sundays….

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A little bit of colour going on the walls!

And as we love an excuse to party we decided to throw a Grand Re-Opening bash! The big event takes place on Saturday 29th March – join us between 10.30am and 6.00pm for a look around our new home, handmade chocolate tastings with The Chocolate Chest, homemade preserves tastings with The Harrogate Preserves Company, a glass of fizz, free goody bags with any purchases over £10, discounts and special offers by selected Collective members – plus live music in the Arcade from local band Weave  – it’s an event not to be missed!

Full details can be found on our Facebook Events page


We are also welcoming some new sellers to join our shiny new shop –  Original Bob, Jil Made This and Life’s Big Canvas….

We will be sad to leave our little Handpicked Hall family but it’s time for us to strike out on our own to enable Our Handmade Collective to be THE Go-To destination for a handmade, handpicked gift shopping experience!

So please keep an eye on our blog posts, facebook page and twitter feed for all of our latest news!

Re-Launch VIP event!

Handpicked Hall has had some changes with most of the businesses moving upstairs to be under the beautiful glass roof. To showcase these changes they are having a Relaunch Weekend from Thursday 27th February to Sunday 2nd March 2014.


As we like any excuse to have a party we are having a VIP event on Thursday 27th February 6-9pm. We have an evening of celebration, entertainment and shopping planned.


We have a fabulous new layout and design that we are very excited about and can’t wait for everyone to see. Please come along and bring any family and friends with you! We have:
– Exclusive chats with our Sellers
– celebratory drinks and nibbles
– FREE gift with purchases over £10
– live music
– Handmade Chocolate Tasting with The Chocolate Chest
– Handmade Preserves Tasting with The Harrogate Preserves Co

Plus the chance to browse around the whole of Handpicked Hall in comfort and style!


Don’t forget the new entrance into Handpicked Hall is from Grand Arcade itself and we are upstairs!


Christmas Gifts for One and All!

The Christmas Countdown is on….and we have Christmas Gifts for One and All at Our Handmade Collective!

It’s the year of Independent Retail, and we have some fabulous unique, handmade gifts for every person on your Christmas Gift List…

Whether it’s gifts for Mum, Dad, Grandma, Auntie Sue, best friend, sister, brother, Uncle Paul – and everyone in between – we’ve got it covered!

And if you really can’t decide when you come to visit us – Give the Gift of Choice with one of our Gift Vouchers – available in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and valid for all purchases from OHC within six months of voucher date.

Treats for the home

Stunning landscapes of Yorkshire and the North East Coast, beautiful vintage butterfly map artwork, handprinted mugs, aprons, tea-towels, wooden food boards made from wine barrels, gorgeous welsh slate cheeseboards, stained glass vases and hanging decorations, quirky prints made from dictionary pages – and lots more to choose from including cushions galore!


Dress your Festive Table in style!

Beautiful welsh slate placemats, stylish bunting, vintage tea cup candles, the all important cheeseboard and murano beaded knife, hand painted wine glasses with their own charms – and a fab bottle coat to dress your Champers!


Gifts for the younger ones…

Beanie hats and scarves, make your own knitting and crochet kits, natural bath and body products, diaries, jewellery, aprons, teddies, trinket boxes, funky monsters, quirky toys….the list goes on and on!


Gifts for her

Stylish, classic and contemporary jewellery, trinket boxes, decorated photo frames, vintage tea cup candles, beautiful artwork, natural bath, body and shower goodies, wooden jewellery boxes, mosaic mirrors, leather handbags, scented candles and stained glass – to name but a few!


For the Man in your life…

Cufflinks of lego, coins and magnified scientific images, mugs, handmade Chocolates, original framed Lego characters, tiepins, phone covers, kindle and Ipad covers, quirky artwork, hats, scarves….


For the more mature person….

Tongue in cheek knit your own dishcloths, crafting kits, aprons, stunning landscape photography artwork, beautiful wooden trinket boxes and storage chests, handmade chocolates, candles, vintage china cake stands, glass decorations…and the ultimate gift for Granddad – his very own ‘Granddad’s Cushion’ for his favourite chair!


Baby’s first Christmas..

Keepsake tree decorations, beautiful bespoke Nappy cakes, cute hat, mitten and booties set, snuggly woollen blankets, quirky baby-gro aprons, funky organic Teddies, keepsake artwork…and so much more!


Treat your Tree!

Decorate your Tree in style this year with our handmade decorations in glass, wood, clay, felt, fabric – and our handmade Sprouts!


Cards, Tags, Wrapping…

A huge range of bespoke, quirky, funny, contemporary, sentimental and personalised Christmas cards, gift tags, embellishments and even better – our Gift Wrapping service!


Decorations for your Hearth and Home…

Traditional and contemporary Stockings to hang on your mantelpiece, Advent Calendars, Christmas Bunting, make your own crackers, paperchains and decorations, Christmas cushions, candles and memo boards….we have it all!PhotoGrid_1385247348746_1

So don’t delay – visit us today and enjoy our Christmas Shopping Experience!


Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Mud Packs….

On Saturday 17th October we had our Christmas launch evening at Our Handmade Collective. We planned to treat shoppers with mulled wine and mince pies, and the mulled wine was amazing thanks to fabulous spice packs from Syndi of Asharun Spices.

xmas mincepies

Right from the beginning the shop was full with people coming to check out the new Christmas products from our 36 makers.

Many, Many thanks to all our lovely customers who came down to the launch night and made it such fun!


We also had samples of the delicious chocolate from The Chocolate Chest, thanks to Emma’s generosity.


One of our trees covered in handmade decorations from our makers.


Handmade cards by McDonough and Davies, and also Imagine by Lindsay Chapman.



One of our bestsellers were these cute Christmas sprouts by Briony of Wonderkind.


I love this stunning glass tea light holder by Tina Green Glass Artist. Her hanging angels also looked fabulous on our tree.


These cute reindeer flannels are made by Sue of Bottoms Up! Nappy Cakes and Gifts. I’ll be buying some of these for my girls Christmas presents!


Christmas never smelt as good! Fabulous natural bath products from Claire of Little Shop of Lathers.


Christmas presents would look naked without these beautiful clay tags by Alison of Red Rat Designs.


How cute are these little knitted jumpers? I’m definitely grabbing one of them while stocks last to go on my Christmas tree.


And of course you can be the ‘hostess with the mostess’ with a handmade pinny or apron from Claudia of Kitsch-ina. Entertain this Christmas in style!


Some of our shelves full to the brim with unusual Christmas gifts for everybody!


Our Handmade Collective got into the Christmas Spirit with some fabulous Christmas jumpers. Claire’s xmas pudding jumper was a firm favourite!

Our makers will be replenishing their Christmas stock frequently and you are always likely to find something new each time you visit. So write out your Christmas shopping lists and come down and Buy Handmade this Christmas supporting small local businesses.

Ho.. Ho… Ho.. it’s Christmas

I know you don’t want to think about it yet but there are only 10 or 11 weeks until Christmas!


We are planning our Christmas Launch on Thursday 17th October 2013 from 5-8pm. We are having an exclusive evening with free Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Mudpacks *! This will allow you to buy amazing handmade presents for your friends and get pampered at the same time… perfect!


On this special evening many of our sellers will be launching their Winter and Christmas ranges. You’ll be able to find Christmas pudding crochet kits, handmade tree decorations, stockings, santa sacks, xmas bath bombs, wine glass charms and aprons. Everything you need to buy as a gift or to help your festive season go with a swing!

We can also offer 10% off a selected range of products on sale in Our Handmade Collective during our launch night.

Other retailers in Handpicked Hall will be joining in and there will be free holistic therapy taster sessions from Shan Massage and mineral make-up makeovers from Blue Butterfly (who are also offering 10% off!).


Our new neighbours up on the first floor, Jil Made This and Deco Press are also open late and giving you 10% off during the evening! So come to the Grand Arcade in Leeds for a fun night of shopping and pampering! Bring your friends and tell everybody you know so we can p a r t y…


* while stocks last so hurry down!

Our Handmade Collective on Internet TV!

There has been a lot of filming going on in store recently!

A group of trainee journalists from have been filming to produce news items as part of their postgraduate course in Broadcast Journalism at Leeds Trinity University.

You can see co-founder Claire Riley talking about Handpicked Hall on Internet TV channel ‘Leeds Today’. Click on and then scroll forward to 10:52mins to see Claire and Our Handmade Collective.


You can also see Claire introducing the ‘Save the Grand Clock’ campaign at: You can see the article about the clock at 13:39mins.

Save the Grand Clock Campaign

Several retailers at Handpicked Hall in the Grand Arcade, Leeds, have got together to organise the ‘Save the Grand Clock’ campaign.


We are trying to bring the building’s famous animated clock back to life by raising the £25,000 needed to restore the mechanism of the clock.

The clock was designed and made by Leeds Clockmakers Robert, James and Joseph Potts. The firm of William Potts and Sons Ltd. became established in Leeds in the 19th Century. William Potts was originally from Durham but settled here in 1833, first in Pudsey Chapeltown, then Bankfield Terrace, Burley, in the 1860s.


The photo below shows the intricate mechanism which operates the unusual clock in the Grand Arcade. Many of the public clocks in the city are Potts clocks and are still repaired and maintained by the firm. When the change is made from British Summertime to Greenwich Meantime and vice-versa, it takes a team of maintenance workers 36 hours to reset all the clocks in the city.


As the clock strikes the hour the figures emerge on a revolving stage. A guardsman salutes, the Scotsman wearing Highland dress bows, there is an Irishman with a Shillelagh, a Canadian and an Indian. As the figures rotate back into the clock a cockerel crows and flaps its wings from a position above the dial.


Wm Potts & Sons were very pleased to be associated with this clock and described it as the greatest horological of the century. In 1938 the clock was removed from over the Harrison Street entrance at the side of the arcade and relocated to its present position above the Vicar Lane entrance.
In 1950/1 Charles Potts converted the clock to automatic electric winding and carried out a major restoration of the clock and the automata.


We are launching the Grand Clock Fund on Saturday 31st August at 3pm and will be taking donations from then onwards.

To keep in touch with our progress or to let us know your memories of this fabulous piece of history get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

Do you remember the clock when the clock chimed and the figures moved in and out of the doors? Please leave your memories below in the comments section, we’d love to hear about them.


EDIT:: Watch a video about the clock restoration from Leeds Today You can see the article at 13:39mins

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

picnic basketteddy

Yesterday if you went down to Our Handmade Collective you would have been sure of a big surprise! We had an indoor teddy bear’s picnic under the stunning new glass roof of Handpicked Hall, Grand Arcade, Leeds.


We organised the event with our friends and fellow Handpicked Hall stall-holders Thistlemist Farm. Jo and Brett of Thistlemist Farm made great little packed picnics which were free for anybody bringing their teddy bear along!

My children loved the little jam sandwiches with the crusts carefully removed, the teddy bear shaped crisps and cups of fresh strawberries.


There were also lots of free activities for the children to do after they had eaten their picnics. We had make your own pasta necklaces, colouring-in sheets, sticky mosaic shapes, face-painting and a great wordsearch with a prize if you finished it! We won a delicious cake pop made by Emma from Our Handmade Collective.


There was also a giant snakes and ladders game and inflatable connect 4 game. A lot of these activities are available throughout the school holidays as part of Our Summer of Craft. Later on Jo from Thistlemist Farm read stories with the children.


Lots of the children fell in love with Handpicked Hall’s Anthony Blackburn’s giant teddy bear and many of them were having their photos taken with him! Along with Claire from Our Handmade Collective!!

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It was a lovely afternoon and all the children had lots of fun. We would like to thank Jo and Brett of Thistlemist Farm and several members of Our Handmade Collective who came along to help and to join in with the fun. But most of all we would like to thank all of  YOU that came along to join in our fun. We really appreciate your support.


What is Handpicked Hall?

Our Handmade Collective is a collection of 21 local designer makers that have been brought together into one shop by co-founders Claire Riley and Natalie Entwistle. Our Handmade Collective is a Handmade Handpicked Total Gift Shopping Experience. The shop takes up a portion of the upstairs Art & Craft area, but there is so much more inside Handpicked Hall, including Fashion and Vintage and an amazing local food court.


The concept of Handpicked Hall was first introduced by Anthony Blackburn to Ripon. He has since opened a successful Handpicked Hall in Skipton (next to the bus station) and now in the Grand Arcade in Leeds. In their own words Handpicked Hall’s philosophy is simple,

  • To give local independent businesses the chance to trade in high profile town and city centre locations at affordable rates.
  • To provide a “first-step” for start-up businesses, giving them the chance to sell and promote their products on the high street, before perhaps investing in a shop of their own.
  • With an unique opportunity to occupy premium retail space  in a high profile location with easy access, regular footfall.


It is a great opportunity for fledgling businesses to come together under one supportive umbrella. It also provides the customer with great convenience as there is a wide variety of products available for them to buy without having to trail around boutiques, galleries and fairs. The Leeds List recently wrote about the opening of Handpicked Hall on their website and featured this great photograph by Ollievision Photography of us upstairs in Our Handmade Collective.


I hope you visit soon and see for yourself how great Handpicked Hall, Grand Arcade, Leeds is. Don’t forget to pop upstairs (there is a lift) to see us in Our Handmade Collective, the Opening Hours are below.

A chance to set up a ‘pop-up’ shop..

Another local talent that is opening a pop-up shop near to Our Handmade Collective in Handpicked Hall Leeds