Why Ottery's art and crafts community loves Laurylee

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 February 2020

Laura Saunders with the crafts and giftsin her shop. Picture: Laurylee

Laura Saunders with the crafts and giftsin her shop. Picture: Laurylee

Laurylee

A new shop in Ottery St Mary is giving local crafters and card makers a place to sell their wares.

A new shop in Ottery St Mary is giving local crafters and card makers a place to sell their wares.

Laura Saunders opened her boutique and gift shop, Laurylee, in January, and has had no shortage of craftspeople and artists snapping up the offer of shelf space.

The shop, in Broad Street, is also proving very popular with customers.

"I've found my best sellers currently to be our greetings card range, and customers love the fact that all our cards are by local card makers," she said. "We have card makers from Ottery, Payhembury, and Honiton to name a few, and have a waiting list as long as my arm for other talented individuals keen to get into the shop."

Ms Saunders formerly worked as a restaurant manager, but then went travelling for a year, and decided she no longer wanted to work for someone else. She felt that it was a good time in life to 'take a leap', and thought there was a gap in the market for a shop in Ottery selling brand-new women's clothing, as well as locally made cards and gifts.

She also wanted to support talented craftspeople.

"The thing is, when I started planning to open a business, I was thinking 'what have I had in the past that's helped me get to where I am today?' And it's people taking a chance on me.

"I might not have necessarily been the best at previous jobs I've done, but someone's given me a chance to prove myself.

"So I think it's quite nice to give that opportunity to other people that are just starting out, they might want want to sell in a shop to see how their crafts are going but they don't necessarily want to have to stock out a whole shop, so it's giving them an opportunity to take a shelf for now and see how it sells, and adapt to the market."

Ms Saunders is also pleased to be flying the flag for independent traders.

"No matter where you decide to shop, we hope you shop independently and help to keep our high streets open," she said.

"We appreciate every sale, supporting our independent business and our local talent."

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