'Lovely to be acknowledged' - Ipswich craft shop pleased with bounce back

Craftability wins a national award for their shop.
Kayleigh Baker and Tricia Hale
Byline: Sonya Dunc

Craftability wins a national award for their shop. Kayleigh Baker and Tricia Hale Byline: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

An Ipswich craft shop has been crowned the best in the region as it continues its bounce back from the pandemic. 

Craftability, in Lawrence Street, Ipswich, has been recognised as the best independent craft shop in East Anglia at the National Craft Awards. 

The craft supplies shop has been trading in the town centre since 2006 and owners Tricia Hale and Karen Plummer have called the win, which was voted for by readers of two top UK craft magazines, a 'fantastic honour'. 

Tricia said: "It's lovely to be acknowledged. We don't know who nominated us, but were ecstatic to even be included in the nominations -- so to win is a bonus. 

"This shop was a craft market before we took over, so we've picked up where that left off and carried on the good work and trade." 

Craftability reopened in April after the national lockdown and although footfall isn't as high as it was prior to the pandemic, the team has been "pleasantly surprised" by the bounce back. 

Ms Hale continued: "It's not quite at the levels of before but it's better than we'd hoped, so we're very pleased with how it's gone. 

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"A lot of people have come in and said how happy they are to be back; the Internet hasn't been able to provide the specific thing they want, or they've wanted to come in and get some advice about a project. 

"And our workshops have been even more successful than before. I think more people are looking for things to try closer to home and many took up creative projects during lockdown." 

According to staff, felting is a current popular trend for crafters and a lot of fabric purchases are being made. 

But the shop is also frequented by people who want to buy wood and metal kits and paint requests are on the rise. 

Craftability also has sections for jewellery-making, scrapbooking and cake decorating, as well as stocking girl guiding uniforms and project supplies. 

The schedule of 2022 workshops and events is still a work in progress, but felting and canal art paint workshops are on the cards. 

Tricia said: "We're definitely planning for some new and innovative projects - so watch this space." 

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