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Creative Craft Classes – Meet The Makers – Kitsch-ina and The Owlery

Today we’re welcoming Claudia and Ben, two of our resident makers, to the blog to get to know a little bit more about them and find out what fun happenings will be part of their workshops at our brand new Creative Craft Classes this weekend!

Claudia from Kitsch-ina – Vintage Inspired Half Pinny | 29th March – Book here!

How To Sew A Pinny

My Name is Claudia and my brand is Kitsch-ina. I’ve been making & selling since 2010. Encouraged by friends and family to make and sew, I found my thing its aprons and pinnies! I love working with bright cotton prints. Inspired by the iconic 1950s design with full flowing skirts and synched in waists. I make and sell through a number of shops in and around Yorkshire.

How did you first get involved in making your craft?

I first got inspired to make, when a close friend, Pesky Chloe of Life’s Big Canvas, had a piece of fabric made using a painting of a Russian doll she had done. We decided to make a pinny and that reminded me that my mum used to wear a pinny all the time. So enthused by nostalgia and a love of fabrics I started making to sell. I now have 7 shops that sell my handmade wares.

Sewing Workshop, Leeds

What’s your favourite thing about running a workshop or class?

I did my first workshop last year it was a great success. I taught a small group of ladies to make their own aprons, 2 of them had never really used a sewing machine before. All the ladies ended up with a beautiful handmade apron using fabric they had chosen and made using their own measurements. It was really good fun sharing my knowledge and in turn inspiring them.

Ben from The Owlery – Introduction To Line Cut | 29th March – Book Here!

Lino Cutting Workshop, Leeds

My name is Benjamin Partridge and I own ‘The Owlery’ a print and textile enterprise based in Sheffield. I specialise in lino cuts, mainly based around the British Woodland, however I am often inspired by the school topics I am working on with my class. I work full time, alongside running my business, as a Special Needs Teacher in Sheffield. I am hoping that as my business progresses I can spend more time being creative and create fair balance between my career and my passion!

How did you first get involved in making your craft?

A couple of years ago I was half way through my Primary Teacher training. The thought of 4 art classes was a daunting prospect as I had never be ‘good’ at art in school. However after a 2 hour print class I found that… ‘I’m actually pretty good at this!’ I quickly went on to running an enterprise print project with my school class and from there set up The Owlery.

The textile element of my business is something that comes a little more natural. I have always had a natural affinity to sewing and been comfortable behind my machine!

‘A man that sews…what is wrong with the world?’ But the Great British Sewing Bee is forging the way for men who sew!

How to lino cut, Leeds

What made you decide to take the leap to start selling your work?

I started to sell the work after the success my school enterprise project had. I fast realised that my work was worth selling and that people were interested in print. Sheffield (my home town) has an incredible print scene and I felt honored that  people chose my work!

What’s your favourite thing about running a workshop or class?

I ran my first print workshop in Sheffield back in January. The process of running a workshop is a fascinating one, in my last print workshop participants brought inspiration from all over the world! One participant was inspired by graffiti art of a volcano situated on the side of a wall on an island in the Indian Ocean where she lived for years, while another participant cut scenes from her kitchen window overlooking beautiful scenery and woodlands. It is incredible to see the diversity of work produced. It makes me realise that inspiration can come for anything and everything.

Creative Workshop Leeds

To book onto Vintage Inspired Half Pinny or Introduction To Lino Cut or to view our other Creative Craft Classes, pop along to this link or call 0113 2443454. Don’t forget we also have our Making Bath Bombs class this Thursday evening too!

See you there x

Creative Craft Classes – 26th March

Today we’re welcoming Claire, co-owner of Our Handmade Collective and one of our resident makers, to the blog to get to know a little bit more about her and find out what fun stuff will be part of her workshop at our brand new Creative Craft Classes next week.

Little Shop Of Lathers – Making Bath Bombs | 26th March – Book here!

Making Bath Bombs Class, Leeds

I live in Leeds with my husband Mark, and three very demanding pussy cats, who entertain us on a daily basis; our household has lots of laughter! Making bath and body products at home means we always have lots of lovely natural products to use on ourselves and there is always a lovely fragrance in the house – albeit there is often a fine covering of white powder everywhere (which does make it sound a little bit strange – but perfectly legal we assure you!).

How did you first get involved in making your craft?

I first got involved in making my craft back in 2010 when we were planning our wedding, and I was exploring different options for our wedding favours.  I had previously trained as an Aromatherapist and loved working with Essential oils so decided to try my hand at making bath bombs to see what I could create.  I actually ended up making something different for our wedding favours as I didn’t have the confidence at the time but the seed was planted in my mind!

Creative Craft Class Leeds

What made you decide to take the leap to start selling your work?

Back in January 2012 I became quite ill and had to make the tough decision to leave my employment. I began working with my husband on ideas for my own business which I could do from home without any pressure. At first it was more a case of something to keep myself occupied while I was at home. I wanted to combine my love of holistic treatments and previous studies as an holistic therapist with something which I would enjoy doing on a daily basis but that could be done as and when it suited me and my illness. At the time we weren’t sure what road the business would take and how it would evolve, but that’s what I love about a creative business! I tested a lot of recipes and built up some stock and it took off from there, with me venturing out to a few craft fairs.  I then started to supply some shops and ventured into bespoke product ranges for specific customers. Little Shop of Lathers grew as I learned to manage my illness, with new product ranges being introduced and new ideas constantly flowing. I decided that the time was right to go a big step further – and in June 2013 Our Handmade Collective came to fruition! OHC is a fabulous handmade gift shop which I adore and am extremely proud of every single day – and it’s the only place where the full range of Little Shop of Lathers goodies are available!

What’s your favourite thing about running a workshop or class?

I run bath bomb making workshops regularly, and also children’s birthday parties and pampering parties, which are all great fun! I love to see people making their own creations with the information and advice I have given – it’s very rewarding and gives lots of warm fuzzy feelings! Helping people to release some creativity and learn a new skill is extremely fulfilling – it helped me a lot when I first became ill and it’s lovely to be able to do that for others.

Here are a few snaps of our first Creative Craft Class – Make A Felted Picture last night which was a huge success! Don’t worry if you missed out, we’re running it again in April!

Creative Workshop in Leeds

Making A Felt Picture
Craft Classes in Leeds

To book onto Making Bath Bombs or to view our other Creative Craft Classes, pop along to this link or call 0113 2443454

See you there x

Creative Craft Classes

Make Your Own Bath Bombs

This March we are bringing something new and exciting to Our Handmade Collective. We’re working together with the gorgeous Bridal Emporium opposite the shop in the Grand Arcade to utilise the vast range of skills that each of our Makers possess and get them to pass on their wisdom to you, our wonderful friends and customers.

Craft Classes and Workshops in Leeds

We will be running these classes on Thursday evenings and Sunday daytimes from March onwards, which hopefully gives everyone a chance to attend and with our wide price range starting from £12.50 there’s something to suit everyone’s budget.

Our Creative Craft Classes are a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills from the people that use them everyday in their own work, perhaps allowing you to develop into your own business someday!

Creative Workshops in Leeds

It’s a great chance to get out into the community and meet like-minded people. At Our Handmade Collective we’re fun, friendly and very down to earth and love to have a chat over a cuppa, so come along and see us with free refreshments provided, as well as equipment and materials for each class unless otherwise stated. Advance booking only, pop in store or call 0113 2443454.

Hope to see you there x

Valentines Day Gift Guide

Valentines Gift Ideas

Valentines Day is only five days away… if you’re lost for ideas this year, pop into Our Handmade Collective where we are more than happy to offer our expertise to help you pick out the perfect one of a kind present for your favourite person.

Best Independent Shop In Leeds Music Themed Valentines Card

Beautiful cards, homemade fudge, geeky framed art, scented candles, unusual jewellery, handmade smellies and endless cute and fun heart themed gifts from over 50 sellers all housed under one roof. We love these paper folded tulips that will last as long as your relationship and this vinyl record card for those who share a passion for music.

We offer a gift wrapping service too, so you could drop by on your lunch break and leave fully prepared for the most romantic day of the year. Don’t forget we’re now open Mondays too!

Alternative Valentines Gift Ideas Handmade Jewellery and Gifts

If you’re stuck for something to do on Valentines Day why not come along to the Grand Arcade: we have a gorgeous vintage tea shop, authentic Colombian coffee, a wide range of dishes on offer in our vegetarian restaurant and you could even pick out your own gifts from our emporium of handmade goodies 🙂

Valentines Day

See you at the shop x

The Alternative Wedding Gift

Unusual Wedding Gift Ideas

If you’re old fashioned at heart and don’t agree with popping cash into a wedding card, but want to buy something a bit different to the traditional toaster – help is at hand at Our Handmade Collective.

We’ve just introduced our new Wedding Gift Certificates that can be purchased in place of choosing a piece from a registry, allowing the new Bride and Groom to wander around our little shop and soak up some inspiration for their new life together.

Wedding Gift Ideas

Our Wedding Gift Vouchers can be purchased in store now – they are valid from the date of purchase until six months after the date of the wedding and can be used by the Bride and Groom for their pre-wedding preparations, to buy accessories for the big day or to treat themselves to something fabulous for their marital home!

Of course if you’d prefer to buy a gift to give the newlyweds in person, do pop along to see us at the shop and we’d be delighted to help pick out something perfect.

See you soon x


The Swine That Dines, Leeds

A Tale of Two Sittings

The Greedy Pig needs no introduction in Leeds, with a name that’s synonymous for serving great plates for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Whether you go for their famed full English (arguably the best breakfast in Leeds), the fluffiest pancakes, the most amazing scotch eggs, burgers and nose to tail tapas – you always walk out utterly satisfied. It may be a little out of the way, located in the outer reaches of the city’s northern quarter; but with neighbours The Reliance nearby, and of course the Belgrave Music Hall (as well as other well known haunts) literally just up the road, they’re in esteemed company. And anyway, who really cares about the distance when the food and people make it totally worth it!!



The last few months they’d quietly fundraised; their aim, to build a toilet so they could open in the evenings. Many people supported them in the efforts, especially through their pie and…

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The Swine That Dines, Leeds

The Swine That Dines, Leeds.

New Year, New You, New Start

Happy New Year to our wonderful customers and friends!!
The dawn of 2015 is a great opportunity to start looking after yourself, create new habits or try something new. If you’re lost for resolutions, help is at hand here at Our Handmade Collective; we have a list of 10 things that you can try out this year and you can pop down to the shop for some extra friendly advice!

  • Get Organised

Getting Organised

Start the year off by blowing away the cobwebs and being more organised and in control. At Our Handmade Collective we have handy wall planners, to do lists and notebooks to aid you along the way and the best part is they are so cute that you won’t be able to wait to use them!

  • Send Snail Mail!

Send Snail Mail

Get back to traditional values this year by ditching the smart phones and social media (just a little bit!) and send a lovely handwritten card or letter to your loved ones instead. If you were a fan of our Thinking Of You project last year, then this is the perfect resolution for you.

  • Take Up A New Craft

Learn A New Craft Take Up Sewing

The optimism of a new year brings the perfect opportunity to take up a new hobby. If you’ve always wanted to try knitting, sewing or jewellery making now is your chance. You never know you could be stocking the shelves on Our Handmade Collective soon enough! If you can’t decide what to take up, why not pop in and pick up one of our fun craft kits?

  • Get Yourself Fit & Healthy

Gift Ideas For Cycling Fans

The new year could be all the motivation you need to eat healthier and get out into the fresh air and exercise those sleepy Winter muscles. You could pop into store and pick up a fun Cycling Marker to sit on your shelf and inspire you to get out on the open road.

  • New Addition To The Family

New Baby Gifts

Maybe the new year is going to bring you a new start in a different way as you welcome a new baby into the family? We have some adorable cuddling toys and gorgeous gift sets for newborns. Even if you just like browsing cute things, come on down for a chat.

  • Cooking Up A Storm

Do More Cooking

Fun Tea Towels

Dinner seems a bit boring since you indulged in that gorgeous Christmas Dinner? Why not experiment with some new meals? We have some super tasty homemade condiments to add to your favourite dish or even grab some funky tea towels or kitchen accessories to inspire you to spend more time in the kitchen.

  • Add Some Homely Touches

Home Decor Ideas

Home Decor Ideas

Does the house feel a bit empty since you took down your Christmas Decorations? Fill your empty spaces with some new decor to add a fresh feel to your home. We have gorgeous lamps, kooky fairy doors, your favourite framed Lego character and a happy smiling face named Bob!

  • Find A Moment Of Calm

Loose Leaf Tea

If you’re looking to find more time to relax this year then we have the perfect idea for you. Try one of our delicious herbal teas to take a moment out of your busy day. This isn’t a normal brew, pop it in a delicate vintage tea cup and sit quietly while you sip for an indulgent five minutes every day.

  • Look After Yourself With Extra Treats

Homemade Toiletries

Soothe your hardworking hands and feet with our gorgeous homemade cosmetics, creams and scrubs. Because these aren’t brewed in a factory they are kinder to your skin for a really heavenly treat.

  • Start A Memory Jar

Memory Jar

Our resolutions this year is to take the time to remember the little things. We have a beautiful jar on our counter top and every time one of you lovely folks offers us a kind word about our shop we’re going to pop it in there for safe keeping. At the end of the year we’re hoping to have a lovely reminder of how awesome our loyal customers are. We thought this was such a great idea that we’re offering a brand new range of Memory Jars so everyone can take part.

What will you try? Hope to see you at the shop soon! x

A Guide To Selling Arts & Crafts Online

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….

2014-02-21 13.05.55

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