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….

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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

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday Leeds

The first shopping Saturday in December has come to be known as SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, supporting and promoting all those lovely independent businesses that make up the corners of your city and online.

Come on down to Our Handmade Collective today and not only will you be celebrating our little shop with us, but you will also be supporting all our independent designers too – there’s 58 designers all under one roof!
If you shop with us today you’ll get an awesome goody bag and two stamps for the price of one on your loyalty cards!!

Independent Grand ArcadeIndependent Coffee Shop Leeds

Small Business Saturday Leeds

There are incredible benefits to shopping small: Each product is handcrafted with incredible attention to detail and you’d be hard pressed to find the same product elsewhere on the high street.

Get something a little bit different for your loved ones this year and if you’re completely stuck for ideas there are no better experts than the staff at Our Handmade Collective to help pick out the perfect gift. We’re friendly and easy to approach and we genuinely love each and every product in store, handpicked by our owners Claire & Natalie.

Small Business Saturday LeedsIndependent Bridal Shop, Leeds

Handmade Products Leeds

We have home decor ideas from gorgeous lamps to fun signs to brighten up your bathroom and kitchen, hand sewn gifts, scarves and mittens for your Grandma who is always hard to buy for, a fun and kooky moustache for your daughter, gifts made from a vinyl record for your musician boyfriend, a cute dog brooch for the dog walker and gorgeous handmade jewellery for your mum, sister and girlfriend. We also provide a gift wrapping service too, so you can leave with all your presents bought and wrapped with weeks to go!

While you’re here you can grab a coffee at Casa Colombiana or groom that post Movember facial hair at The Traditional Shaving Company and support all the amazing small businesses that we live alongside in the Grand Arcade!

Independent Shops Leeds Independent Gifts Leeds

Don’t worry if you can’t make it today, you can support us everyday as we’re now open until Christmas Eve.

See you at the shop x


Thanksgiving at Our Handmade Collective

Today at Our Handmade Collective we’re feeling very blessed and have lots to be thankful for. It’s been an incredible year!!

  • The fabulously talented makers we have that make up Our Handmade Collective – we couldn’t do any of this without them!
  • Winning the Leeds Love Affair Best Place to Shop in Leeds award – voted for by you lovely lot!

Leeds Indie Awards Best Place To Shop

  • Having such wonderful and loyal customers – without your support we wouldn’t still be here….
  • Our incredible working partnership – we just fit together so well!
  • Being ranked no.1 for shopping in Leeds on Tripadvisor – yay!

Shopping in Leeds Tripadvisor

  • The community of creative and supportive Independent retailers within the Grand Arcade that we are honoured to part of….
  • Having such understanding and supportive husbands!

Here’s to an even better year to come!
What are you thankful for? Share with us on Twitter and Facebook!

Don’t forget to RSVP to our awesome Christmas event, MORE Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine!

With love from Natalie, Claire and all at Our Handmade Collective on Thanksgiving x

Send a Letter to Santa!

Letter to Santa, Our Handmade Collective

Since Santa is super busy making all your festive goodies at this time of year he has asked the Our Handmade Collective Christmas Elves for some help collecting everyone’s Christmas wishes!

In store we have our very own North Pole Postbox for you to post your letters to Santa. Just pop back in store to collect your reply from Santa himself! You can either print the template from the image in this blog and bring it with you to post in the special North Pole Postbox or if you need inspiration, come along to the shop and complete a letter there… then leave the rest to us!

Letter To Santa

The last guaranteed posting date for you to be able to receive your reply from Santa is Friday 19th December at 5.00pm. He is very busy, after all!

Why not combine your trip with a visit to the MORE Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine shopping event on the 4th December? RSVP, here!

Ho, Ho, Ho and Merry Christmas! x

We need more Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine…

Christmas Original Bob

We’re recovering a little after our Christmas Launch event – all your Our Handmade Collective Christmas elves are worn out, but our little happy hearts are filled with love for everyone that came out to join us, brought friends & family and shared the event far and wide. It was fantastic to see so many of our lovely customers drinking mulled wine and eating our award winning fudge! THANK YOU.

Christmas Display Leeds Award Winning Fudge LeedsHandmade Christmas Decorations Our Handmade Collective Customers Our Handmade Collective Mince Pies Handmade Gifts Leeds Our Handmade Collective Staff Handmade Christmas Decorations Shopping Grand Arcade Christmas Ornaments Christmas Shopping Event Late Night Shopping Leeds Our Handmade Collective ChristmasWe had an absolute blast! How about you? In fact, we had so much fun that we’re secretly planning a follow up event! What do you think, would you like More Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine?

Let us know if you’d like to come back again and we’d love you to share your purchases with us on social media… unless they’re gifts of course! Those need to stay super secret.

Don’t forget that we are also now open every day until Christmas so you can shop with us at your convenience….including late night Thursdays until 8.00pm.

If you enjoyed your shopping experience, please feel free to pop us a review on Trip Advisor – we’re number one for Shopping in Leeds you know! Cheers!

See you at the shop x


We LOVE Our Loyal Customers!

Our Handmade Collective Loyalty Card

Have we ever told you how much we LOVE you? We can’t get enough of our loyal customers who always shop with us, pop in to say hello and just make our day, so we wanted to let you know how much you mean to us.

We’re so excited to introduce the Our Handmade Collective Loyalty Card! Next time you visit us, please pick up your loyalty card at the desk. On every visit you make a purchase, we’ll give you a pretty little stamp and on your 10th visit there will be a super treat of 10% off purchases over £5. Happy spending, collecting and shopping!

Fun Christmas Jumpers

Don’t forget our Christmas launch party tomorrow night where there’ll be Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine. We told you last week that there’ll be a prize for the best Christmas jumper, but we’re feeling so festive that now there will be a gift for everyone who wears a Christmas jumper! No excuses to dig yours out for Thursday 30th October.

See you at the shop x

Mistletoe, Mince Pies & Mulled Wine!

There are only 62 days until Christmas!! Don’t panic, if you haven’t started Christmas shopping yet, we’re waiting for you at Our Handmade Collective.

Even better, we’re going to make the task FUN. Bucket loads of our sellers will be in attendance on 30th October wearing daft Christmas jumpers and handing out Mince Pies & Mulled Wine. You can even kiss your sweetie under the Mistletoe.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, how about 10% off hundreds of products in store for one night only? Handmade, unique and a bargain. Why, you might just get all your presents in one go!

Handmade Christmas Shopping Event

Competition, Win, Handmade

On the night we’ll be announcing the winners of the Box of Delights raffle! Get your ticket in store now for just £1. Proceeds go towards saving the beautiful clock in our Grand Arcade and restore it to it’s former glory.

As well as being an unmissable night, our festive party marks the start of our Christmas opening hours. We’ll be open SEVEN DAYS A WEEK and for those who can’t stomach weekend shopping, you can pop in after work on a Thursday until 8pm!

Late Night Shopping Leeds

If you’re at a complete loss for what to buy your loved ones this Christmas, you’re in luck! Our staff are experts at gift giving and will be more than happy to help you pick out the greatest gift you’ve given yet. We even offer gift wrap from £1.50. If you really can’t decide, give the gift of choice with our gift vouchers available in store! You could only get a better service from Santa himself! 😉

Don’t forget your Christmas jumper at the event, there’s a prize for the best one! See you at the shop x

The Awesome Student Guide To Leeds Indies

Freshers! Welcome to Leeds. Grab a cuppa and snuggle yourself down with a blanket, Yorkshire style, while you read through our Awesome Student Guide to Leeds Indies at The Grand Arcade.

Freshly Ground Coffee Leeds

Late night studying or researching local bars? Get your caffeine fix from Casa Colombiana; coffee and food with a Latin twist. Their coffee is roasted on site, making it as fresh as possible. Try it black with a lump of rustic brown sugar.

Tired of having to pick the only veggie option on the menu when out with your new pals? Pop in to Roots and Fruits where all the offerings are vegetarian. Tasty options for vegans too!

Last minute visit from the parents? Take them for afternoon tea at Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom for a super suave cuppa instead of letting them into the kitchen you haven’t gotten around to cleaning from last night’s party.

Wet Shaving Leeds

Pruning the perfect hipster beard? Pop along to The Traditional Shaving Company for expert advice or get it all lopped off by Byron the Barber.

Sister in town and recently engaged? Take her along to The Bridal Emporium to try on dresses and get ideas for the big day. You’ll score the highest sibling points on offer!

Jazz up your new pad with some bobby dazzler accessories from The Little Button Co or paint up an unloved thrifted find with some chalk paint from My Vibrant Home.

Impress your first Uni date by buying them a drink at The Pit, but let them get the round in at Santiagos!

Best Birthday Present Ideas

Finally when birthdays arise, pop along to Our Handmade Collective for all your gifting needs. When they see the great gifts you come up with, everyone will want to be your friend 😉 And don’t forget to get yourself a little treat from us for all your hard work!

Student Guide Leeds

You can find even more information about us in your handy student guide from Leeds List.

See you at the shop!

National Thinking Of You Week

National Thinking Of You WeekNext week is National Thinking of You Week to celebrate good, old fashioned Snail Mail. We don’t know about you, but the rare joy of receiving a hand written note through the post these days fills our little hearts with glee! So during the last week in September, why not join us in sending a card-a-day to your friends, loved ones and neighbours? Pop in store to Our Handmade Collective to pick up your greetings cards and if you buy six cards from us, we’ll give you the seventh absolutely free! You can’t get much more special than a note just to say hello inside a beautiful handmade card. Not only that, but you can nominate a friend to win a £10 Our Handmade Collective voucher!! Drop into the shop and fill out a nomination and post it into our specially made post box! Or, if you can’t get to us, you can even nominate on our Facebook page until Sunday 28th September. Hope to see you there 🙂

Thinking of You WeekIdeas for Thinking Of You Weeks