Hello - I'm Charlotte, the creative mind behind Calico Collective. My business is centred around creating consciously crafted, small batch homeware and jewellery, which is accessible for any budget. The current range includes a selection of planters, coasters, earrings, prints and much more.
Having followed the journey of Curated Makers since discovering the company back in early 2019, I was keen to get involved in some way before Calico Collective had even begun. I remember visiting the Curated Makers Made Local Pop-Up in Paperchase back in December 2019, just a month after moving to Manchester. It was the perfect place to shop small and support local businesses whilst out exploring Manchester for the first time. Little did I know back then that I would have the opportunity to work with Megan and the Curated Makers team!
After graduating from a Theatre Design degree in summer 2019, I wanted to find a new creative outlet, and so my lino printing hobby became an Etsy shop! It was only when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit us that I really had the time (and a little extra furlough money!) to develop my hobby into a small business. I now spend much of my time creating homeware and jewellery with a range of materials, including jesmonite, polymer clay and lino printing techniques. The first lockdown also saw the creation of the Curated Makers Postable Pop-Up - an online market to connect with fellow makers, test out displays from home and launch new products.
I've now been involved in three Postable Pop-Up Events over the past year and have loved every single one - it was through participating in these online events that I plucked up the courage to trade at my first in-person event last August!
The real excitement began when Curated Makers announced FOUR Pop Up locations for Christmas 2020, one of which being the Pop-Up in John Lewis, Cheadle. I signed up for a few shifts on the shop floor team, and was incredibly excited when I was then invited to stock a selection of my polymer clay earrings in the Pop-Up! This was not only my first adventure with Curated Makers, but my first ever bricks and mortar stockist too. A few long days of making passed and I was ready to display a range of earrings just in time for Christmas!
With the 2021 lockdown pending, I think it's safe to say that a lot of small businesses were feeling unsure about the future, mine included. But one of the most important aspects of Curated Makers is their focus on the makers and bringing new opportunities to support small and shop local. I was very fortunate to be invited to stock a larger range of products in the Made Local Pop-Up in John Lewis Trafford Centre for it's reopening in April this year, as well as in the new collaboration with Groceries & Beer in Sale. It is through these pop-ups that I have been able to test myself and create exciting, new products to showcase in these brilliant spaces. I still pinch myself everyday when I can say that my products are available in John Lewis & Partners!
Collaboration over competition is something that I live by - there is room for all makers out there and to be part of such an incredibly supportive community, especially through the ups and downs of the past year, has been so special. Having moved to Manchester from my hometown in Somerset just months before the pandemic, working with Curated Makers has been a chance to connect with local, like minded people and become part of a community, both online and in-person. The Made Local Pop-Ups have been welcomed with open arms by customers throughout, showing the overwhelming support for small businesses to succeed and hold their place on the high street!
The John Lewis Trafford Centre Pop Up ends on July 11th - but keep your eyes peeled for more exciting opportunities very soon!
To register your interest in taking part in a Made Local Pop-Up with Curated Makers, you can do so here