Category Archives: Press

2014 – what a year it’s been!

Wow, what a year we’ve had this year! And now we’ve had some time to relax over our Christmas break, we decided to take a look back over it all….

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In February we received the sad news that Handpicked Hall had gone into administration and we had to move from our home…

In March, after a busy month of redecorating and moving fixtures, fittings and a lot of stock, we moved into our new permanent home, directly underneath where we were previously and held our Grand re-opening party!


April saw the majority of our fellow retailers within Handpicked Hall also move to their own retail units within the Grand Arcade, and the Home of Independents was on the rise!

In May we achieved our number one rating for Shopping in Leeds on Tripadvisor (within two weeks of joining), and thanks to the fabulous reviews of our great customers and visitors we’re proud to say that we’ve retained the top spot since then!

In June we celebrated the milestone of our first birthday with our Big Birthday Bash…a whole weekend of celebrations!

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In July we welcomed the Tour De France to Yorkshire with the Grand Depart, and took part in the Duke Studios Leeds Indie Bikes campaign to help put 120 Leeds Independent retailers on the map…

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In September we were extremely proud and humbled to be awarded the Best Place to Shop in the Leeds Love Affair Independent Business Awards, and we received our shiny award from the lovely Mr Matthew Burton of Educating Yorkshire fame in a very excellent awards ceremony held at The Tetley…

Meeting Mr Burton, Educating Yorkshire 2014-09-07 14.48.14

October saw us preparing for Christmas with our Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine Christmas Shopping Event – and a fun night was had by all! We were truly overwhelmed at the sheer volume of customers who came along to support us and make such a memorable event for us…

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In November we were delighted to be described as ‘A Hidden Gem’ in Your Home – a National Magazine no less!

December saw us, along with the rest of the Grand Arcade Retailers, take part in Small Business Saturday, a national day to recognise small, local businesses.  We also held (by popular demand) our second Christmas Shopping event, More Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine, and once more we were overwhelmed at our lovely customers for supporting us and coming to visit us to do their Christmas Shopping! We also ran our own 12 Days of Christmas to showcase just a few of our handmade gifts which you guys all seem to love so much…

12 days of xmas final 2014

We’ve had such a lot of highs this year – we’re blessed to have a great family in our makers, we have amazing customers, loyal supporters and a gorgeous little shop that we’re extremely proud of! We’ve made a lot of new friends this year and met many like-minded individuals who are as passionate about their Independent businesses as we are.

On behalf of all our makers, we’d like to thank you all for being part of our journey this year.  We wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope you get all you wish for in 2015! We re-open on 2nd January, with our Big Sale, some new makers to introduce to you and lots more news and reviews!

Love, Claire & Natalie x

Thank You for a Fabulous Weekend!

Thanks to everybody who came and joined in our first birthday celebrations last weekend. We had so much fun and it was so lovely to see the Grand Arcade buzzing with excitement.


We really enjoyed seeing some of our favourite customers and meeting so many new faces. We hope you found the perfect gift in our shop and that you will spread the word about us to your friends. NatShop(Co-founder Natalie outside the shop – above)  cakemontage (Our yummy birthday cake! – above)natandclaire(Both co-founders Claire and Natalie raising a glass to celebrate our very successful first year of trading – above).


We also really appreciate the support that we have received from Leeds-List, as Independent retailers we need a big voice! Their latest feature on us is here, and as ever is a great read – thanks again guys!

Could you do us a favour?

Hi there. Just a quick blog post to ask if you could do us a quick favour, whilst you sit down with a brew??


We’ve recently added ourselves to Trip Advisor so we can get more feedback from the people that have been to visit us. If you have been to Our Handmade Collective and can spare a few minutes to rate us or leave a short comment, then please click on this link and then choose ‘write review’ from the menu bar at the top centre of the page (see red circle in picture).


And finally…. if you’ve still got tea in your cup and you really like our little shop then please nominate us for ‘best place to shop’ and ‘best new business’ in the Leed Love Affair Indie Awards. Please click on this link and then click on the ‘Let’s Go’ button to answer 5 quick questions about Leeds!

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Many, many thanks. We hope to see you again soon!

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!

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.

Claire Riley (co-founder) featured on UK Handmade Website

One of our co-founders, Claire Riley of Little Shop of Lathers, is featured this week on the UK Handmade website. She was interviewed as part of their “The Road Less Travelled” series which looks at people that left other careers to become full-time designer-makers.


You can read the full article at

Our Handmade Collective in the Press!

One of Our Handmade Collective, Christine Harvey of Rose Cottage Crafts, was featured in the Yorkshire Post magazine on Saturday 29th June 2013.


You can read more about this on Christine’s blog post