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New Year, New Style News!

Welcome to the first of my new 2-weekly newsletters, designed to help you keep up with happenings, new exhibitions and workshop opportunities at NaviStitch on Manningtree High Street, Essex; but also to keep you abreast of new work, commissions and general news for those of you that aren't local. As this is the first newsletter, it's a little on the long side - I promise not to bombard you with every one!

I'm following a 'past, present, and future'-style theme for any of you that don't necessarily spend much time on social media. Since opening the NaviStitch shop in November last year, so much has happened and we're delighted to be able to confirm that we made the right move!


The Past

Christmas seems like a distant memory now but it's good to reflect on the amazing festive season that we have, and to thank all of you for supporting NaviStitch with your visits to our pop-up shop, with your commissions and with your website purchases. I hope that all of your friends and family were pleased with their gifts and that you all had a jolly time.

Our pop-up shop was hugely successful - we had 20 artists and makers both downstairs and upstairs in the two rooms that we've dubbed The Sail Loft, and it was lovely to be surrounded by the most fantastically creative work:


The Present

I'm loving being a shopkeeper! Making a move from Ardleigh Studios to my own shop was a tough decision but one that I'm glad I made. As you'll see from the above images, it's been a delight to be able to, not only welcome customers in to my own place, but to be able to support other artists and makers too.

Since the Christmas pop-up, I've decided to keep one wall in the shop as a 'guest wall'. Anyone who exhibits with me, or runs a workshop will be welcome to display some of their work on the wall and the work will be regularly changed to give everyone a chance to be a part of it. It's also a chance for visitors to see my own work, plus that of other local artists and makers.

As well as my own work adorning the walls of my shop, and greeting cards being displayed for all occasions, I also offer personalised cards while-you-wait - as long as I'm in the shop at the time! These have been available on my website for a while, and still are but, if you're in the area, it's another service we can offer.

The great thing about the NaviStitch shop is that it's 3 things rolled into one:

  1. A great shop for all of your nautical themed gifts and cards; coastal curiosities - a boat-based boutique on the banks of the Stour (try saying that after a a bottle of rum!)

  2. It's my studio - I can work on your commissions, surrounded by a gallery of work to inspire you, if you need ideas.

  3. The upstairs of the shop has two great rooms - one works well as an exhibition space, the other is set up as workshop space, and we're currently taking bookings for both. In fact, this very weekend, artist Anne Plummer is here offering private tuition and has a full house of students.


The Future

We're excited to have lots of workshops and exhibitions booked in to The Sail Loft, beginning next Wednesday, 2nd February with a Pics, Pots and Knits Exhibition by Sarah Milne (pics), Jo Jones (pots) and Pamela Hatswell (knits). Running through until Saturday 6th February, they have an open evening on the first night from 6pm-8pm

The following week, artist Anne Plummer is holding her Marbles Exhibition from 9th-12th February (she's also back in March with a Barges and Boats exhibition from 9th-12th).

Next month, on 12th February, we're also hosting two workshops by Maekandoo - one in the morning; one in the afternoon: Visible Mending is from 10:30am-1pm - a fast-growing trend, you'll learn how to repair and revamp your much-loved clothing and textiles. In the afternoon, from 2pm to 4pm you can Make a Tweed Heart for your sweetheart using traditional embroidery stitches, filled with a sachet of locally-grown lavender. Both workshops can be booked via Maekandoo's own website

We've got even more workshops and exhibitions booked in to The Sail Loft in March and April but, more on that next time. To keep up to date with what's going on, take a look at my calendar and never miss a thing!

If you're a local artist or maker and would like more information on booking The Sail Loft for a workshop, exhibition or pop-up, please do get in touch - each room is available separately, or both rooms together, for a maximum of 2 weeks consecutively.

Once again, thanks to all of you that have supported my venture so far - it's been so lovely to meet lots of you in the flesh and to create this amazing space where lots of things are happening. For those of you that live just too far away, everything is still available via my website shop and I'm always extremely happy to chat about a commission. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, why not get in touch and we can create a gift to ensure that a memory is made real?

On the subject of Valentine's Day, if you're looking for a card for the oarsome person in your life; if you want to remind someone that they float your boat, don't forget to order in time (there are exactly 18 days to go!) - use this link to see my 'romance' range

I'll leave you with a few pics of some commissions that I've completed recently - until the next time, I wish you calm waters and plain sailing


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