Sunday, 11 May 2014

A little taste of Morocco

Just before Christmas I went across the border to Suffolk, to visit Maroque, and get a taste of all things Moroccan. And I mean all things Moroccan.



What started as a small business - selling the beautiful furnishings, lamps and lanterns of Morocco now stocks, cookware, gifts and also the ingredients to make stunning recipes, which are available in the free downloadable cookbooks from owner and chef extraordinaire Julie Woodard.


The showroom at Needham Market features many of the items from the online store and makes for a colourful experience - perfect for my photos and a few experiments with photographing lamps and shadows. It also helps me build on my experience of shooting products, as they actually are on display.

Upstairs in the showroom is the range of furniture, soft furnishings and those lovely lamps, which cast such wonderful patterns on the walls and ceilings.




Downstairs is the warehouse, stocking a whole range of Moroccan items to explore.






It's very easy in today's world of internet shopping to lose that personal touch, but it's obvious from spending a bit of time here that it isn't the case at Maroque. A glass of warm mint tea awaits every visitor, along with a smile and offer of help. Even the mail order deliveries go out with a handwritten note.



Maroque can be found online at www.maroque.co.uk  

If you are interested in photos of your products or business, please do get in touch.







Mirror and a reflection of the warehouse

Tassles

Monday, 28 April 2014

It's here! Norwich Gift Emporium opening.

On Good Friday 18th April at 10am, Norwich Gift Emporium opened the doors to a stream of eager Easter shoppers.

The crowd gathers for the grand opening...
Party poppers at the ready!
The newly opened Emporium is the result of a huge amount of work by Steve Pugh, Charis Brown and the many helpers who have put in time and effort to help Charis get the shop looking so great. The Emporium brings together many local artisans, and there is a huge, and very diverse range of products on the shelves, which are starting to get nicely full.

The ground floor - with lots of lovely cushions on the shelves from Cushion Cottage and Luffly Stuff
First floor
First floor gallery area
Spread over two floors, Friday was the first time I had seen quite how many lovely things are available all together. I shall attempt to include as many as possible in this blog, but it really won't do it justice and if you are reading, a visit to the Emporium is very much warranted.


A packed Norwich Gift Emporium
The shop was busy for most of Friday with people spotting the newcomer to the Norwich Lanes. I have always loved the Lanes for the range of places to shop, and the interesting things you can find in every place. There is something for everyone, and it's so nice to have something totally different to the mall shopping experience. I really think Norwich is growing and growing as a place to shop. It has a couple of great malls of course, for those that like everything in one place, then there is Norwich Market with its unique character, and then the wonderful Lanes. From what I can see, the Emporium fits in nicely to the Lanes, and is very well placed next to The Giggly Goat, which has a lovely range of handmade arts and crafts from all over the UK.

Charis introducing the shoppers of Norwich to the Emporium
Shoppers to the Emporium get a friendly welcome
A young shopper admires the daffodils - one of the beautiful photos by SeaHaze Photography
If you came in on Friday, you may have been lucky enough to meet some of the crafters, who came along to see how things were going and celebrate being part of this exciting new venture.

Peter Young, with his lovely paintings
Su Mose of Wayward Rose and Steve Pugh
Mel Forrer of Mel's Nimble Thimble with one of her beautiful creations
One of the things I like about becoming a part of the Norwich Gift Emporium is the support all the artists give each other. It is like a little family and I think this will be really important in making it a success. I've already been able to recommend several fellow crafters work, and I've fallen in love with some of the work on show.



Bob and John knitwear
Pendants by Jabbawocky
Wattlefield Pottery

Nutty Crafts Candles
JewelOri
Embira

Paper Story

Just a small selection of the things available from Ella Goodwin Illustration and Design
DT Steampunk
Jewellery by Belinda
Emma's Candles

Handmade by Toots

Cushion by Luffly Stuff

Bags of Style
Beads and Braiding - Jewellery by Jayne
South of the Border by Lisa Bowles
Absolute Bliss
Elias Frank
Shirley Giles jewellery. In the cabinet next to this one is Jewellery by SK
A few of the Mosaic Memories by Carolyn Ash

House of Mouse
Lupie Loo
Primrose Cottage bears
Bags on the left by Off the Pegg, bags on the right by Wayward Rose
As you can see, there is a lot of great stuff here!

Some shelves are still available to rent by contacting the Norwich Gift Emporium, but I don't expect they will be available for long. Contact Charis to find out more by calling 01603 624333 or via the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/norwichgiftemporium

The shop is open 10:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday.

All work shown with kind permission of the artists.