Emma Fearnside on why she bought Cheshire Craft Workshop in Northwich
PUBLISHED: 10:31 11 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:58 12 July 2018
My mission to make crafts open and appealing to everyone.
I am delighted to share that Cheshire Craft Workshop is under new ownership.
I bought Cheshire Craft Workshop at the end of September last year. Previously, I had a successful career in senior commercial and supply chain roles in retail working for Tesco (in Thailand), Asda-Walmart, Matalan and The Burton Group amongst others. My decision to purchase CCW came after I realised that my return to corporate life was not working; I was not able to work as well as be mummy I wanted to be to my then five year old little boy. This, alongside the death of my brother aged 49 following a short, unexpected illness meant that I needed to make some changes in my life to achieve a better balance. That change was CCW.
I saw the business for sale on Facebook; my friend had ‘liked’ the page. I read the advert and thought it was interesting but thought nothing more of it. Over the coming few days and weeks, it kept coming back to me to the point where I thought I should at least have a look at the accounts. I knew straightaway that I could give it a good go given my experience in retail and a life-long passion of crafting. Exciting.
I bought the business as a going concern and it was a great little business with a great team already in place. I felt there was more we could offer to a wider audience, so my mission and focus was to make our craft offering open and appealing to everyone.
My start point was to change the layout of the workshop to really show off our ceramics and to create an event / party area at the rear. This immediately made CCW feel like mine; I’d put my own stamp on it. Moving the layout also gave me more display space allowing the room to open up the range of ceramic blanks. I wanted to appeal to a more adult audience by adding more useful, practical pieces like large salad/pasta bowls, butter dishes, candle votives, vases and larger home decorative pieces. I could do this quickly and make an immediate change.
October half term was a steep learning curve along with the run into Christmas! No time to change, it was all about getting the right team in place and optimising trade. The team here at CCW is key. The girls are great and make a huge difference to our customers’ experience.
We made it to see in the New Year and I began to work on the new branding with Scorpio Signs and my new signage and look was revealed in the Spring. I love our logo and feel so proud every time I see it, Peter and his team at Scorpio did a great job. February half term was incredibly busy, word was getting out and our monthly Evening Pottery Painting Sessions were filling up.
The last couple of months has been spent launching our new workshops and drop in sessions. They can all be seen on the Events section in our Facebook page. There are so many opportunities to try something different. For further information or to book you can call us on 01606 301269.
Life with CCW has brought me a lifestyle that allows me to be the mum I want to be as well as allowing me to work with something I love every day. Our customers are great and so supportive. There is so much I want to do but I keep reminding myself that it’s a marathon not a sprint! Right now, there is nothing I would rather be doing.
Cheshire Craft Workshop, Unit 1-4 Blakemere Village, Northwich, CW8 2EB
Tel: 01606 301269
Website is a work in progress… watch this space!