In the run up to Christmas last year, Birmingham gained a new pop-up gift emporium that promised a break from the mainstream and mass produced. Handmade boutique, the brainchild of Tracie Bedwood, offered unique, quirky, handmade gifts and products from a range of local artisans and crafts people, with price points that ranged from pocket money to affordable luxury. Handmade Boutique was a huge success and one which most were sad close once Christmas came.
But now Handmade Boutique is back, and this time it is in a permanent home. Birmingham’s Beautiful Great Western Arcade is the new home of the boutique, which has seen some designers returning, and has also seen some new designers joining the collective. Last week saw the official launch event for the Boutique, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to have a look around (and make a mental shopping list), and be able to meet some of the designers behind the products that make Handmade Boutique a such a champion of Independent trade.
Ceramics designer Jade Devall was on hand to tell me all about her collection, which is full of quirky, vintage inspired illustrations. I loved the Ice Cream Van design with the touching funny caption about the music playing only if the van has ran out of ice cream. Jade explained her mom used to say that when she was young and it is something she remembered. Jade also upcycles the sorts of glass milk bottles with straws that I remember from infant schools, these are just an amazing idea for summer parties and weddings, a cute change from an ordinary glasses.
Serendipity Candles makes a welcome return, using vintage china and glass to create exquisite candles. I also fell in love with the cake stands, created from vintage (and sometimes mismatched) plates and bowls that would just make a perfect centrepiece for afternoon high tea, so much so that MPW in The Cube is currently using these for their own afternoon teas.
Another new addition that I was instantly drawn to was Caramel Designs. A range of stunning, Cath Kidston style tote bags and glamorous evening clutches, Caramel Designs are simply wonderful and great for all ages. I think the quirky print totes would make fabulous back to school bags for fashion concious teenagers.
There are just so many beautiful and desirable items on sale at the Handmade Boutique, I would totally recommend a visit, I dare you to leave empty handed.
A few more of my favourite things from…
Miss Pitchy Patchy
Kirsty M designs