We’ve won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence!

WHOOP! We’re so excited to announce that we’ve just been awarded a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence….tripadvisor certificate of excellenceAnd it’s all down to the great reviews that you guys have been leaving for us! So THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts, we really do appreciate each and every review we receive!  Word of mouth is invaluable praise indeed and we’re very humbled that you guys enjoy your visits to us enough to leave a few words :)

Bursting with lovely handmade things

 
If you want to check out more of our lovely reviews you can find them here!
Much love,

Claire & Nat x

 

Meet the Makers of OHC: L & P Company of Natural Candles

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We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Makers of OHC specials, please say hello to Laura of L & P Company of Natural Candles….

How did you become a designer/maker?

I remember sitting with my Mum one rainy day, struggling with marketing job applications and saying ‘All I want to do is make candles…..’ And the rest is history!!!!

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

After a lot of brainstorming and asking everyone I knew – I finally decided on L&P Company of Natural Candles. The ‘L’ stands for me (Laura) and the ‘P’ stands for my partner (Phil) as the business is very much a joint effort. There was some good (but mostly bad) suggestions such as ‘A Lorra Lorra Candles’, ‘Ignite’ and ‘Candle Corner’ but in the end I just wanted to go with something classy and simple that included candles but didn’t come across too cheesy!

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I also work as Marketing Consultant on a self employed basis and I love helping other smaller businesses drive forward their marketing plans.

How do you fit it all in and keep that balance?

Planning, planning and more planning!!! I have to be organised – tricky as every week throws up something different, it’s a challenge but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

I love being able to think creatively about how best to market our products and how to reach out to our customers. Everyday I’m meeting new people and facing new experiences.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

Alongside my usual candles I made 50+ wedding candles for a lovely lady once and I was so happy with how they turned out!!!

Describe your business in three words

Sniff and see!

We can certainly confirm there is a fabulous aroma emanating from your shelves Laura! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the L & P Company of Natural Candles collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers: Guitar Geekery

We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Maker specials, please say hello to Becky of Guitar Geekery…

How did you become a designer/maker?

Like many designer-makers I designed and made as a hobby for most of my life, and that became a business out of a passion for putting food on the table! The guitars were a slightly frivolous side-line to my handbags and accessories brand to begin with, and have gradually taken over. It all started because I had an injury that stopped me playing my guitars for a few months, so I started drawing them instead. I always knew I could sew, but it’s come as something of a surprise to me that I have both the drawing and design skills and the music knowledge to pull this off!

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

Well, you can like music, and you can like guitars, and then… you can like guitars just a little bit too much! I’m not the geekiest of guitar geeks but some of my customers are. It does what it says really.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I have a full time designer-maker business. Guitar Geekery takes up most of my time but it’s not all drawing and designing. I would say the majority of my time is taken up with marketing, researching, and developing new ideas. I also organise designer maker fairs under the name of Design Inspire Live, providing a platform for artists and craftspeople to sell their work, including some of the sellers here at OHC

How do you fit it all in and keep that balance?

There’s a little bit of my old job that I can’t quite let go of, so I continue to do some consultancy work for the University of Leeds. I keep thinking when I stop needing the extra income I’ll give it up, but I actually enjoy it too much. It doesn’t take up too much of my time, and it kind of keeps a different part of my brain ticking over.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

The other day I sat in a café, drinking tea and eating cake with a good friend, discussing music and musicians, sharing tracks, learning about artists I’d never heard of, extolling the virtues of artists she’d never listened to: and I could legitimately count this as work! What’s not to like?

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

My original design for the Guitar Heroes mug is my favourite. Not because I think it’s the best, artistically speaking, but because I put in such a lot of research. It wasn’t going to be just my favourite musicians. I wanted it to show the influencers and the originators, the inventors and the innovators . I wanted there to be enough really famous names to grab attention, but then throw in some wild cards, so that people would have to do some research, or maybe even be turned on to different music. It worked for me, and I think it works for people who buy the mug too. One guy once congratulated me on including Hubert Sumlin, and we got to talking about seeing him play at and it turned out we’d been at the same gig 12 years ago. I’m about geeky enough to love that stuff!

Describe your business in three words

Cool Guitar Gifts

We reckon that we all have a little bit of a geekiness about us somewhere Becky! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Guitar Geekery collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

OHC Instagram Challenge – meet you over there!

We all love telling a story with pictures don’t we? Instagram is excellent for that!  We’re pretty new to Instagram we have to admit, but we love it!

You may or may not be following us there already – well, if you aren’t now is a good time, and if you are, well you’re in for a treat!

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OHC Instagram feed

During April we are running our own Instagram Challenge with our makers joining us to showcase the many faces of OHC – introducing you to all of us and sharing lots of lovely photos along different themes each day.

Using the hashtag #OHCLeeds you’ll find posts each day from the shop and lots of our makers – including some treats such as ‘Customers and Friends’, ‘Handmade’, ‘Complimentary and Coordinating’, ‘First and Last Displays’ and ‘All that Glitters’ – ooh, we can’t wait!

We’re particularly looking forward to our ‘Best Pun’ post…. we have a corker lined up!

OHC instagram challenge April

But that isn’t all, we want you guys to get involved with our challenge too! We want to see your photos of your purchases…

If you’ve taken photos while visiting one of our events then post them and tag us at #OHCLeeds on Day 9 (Customers and Friends) or Day 21 (Events) – or both!

Do you have a collection of goodies from OHC which go together just perfectly? Snap a pic, post it and tag us at #OHCleeds on Day 26 (Complimentary and Coordinating).

Are your walls adorned with some of our many and varied artworks? Snap a pic, post it and tag us at #OHCleeds under whichever category suits.

Have you attended one (or more) of our Creative Craft Classes? Send us a pic of your finished creation on Day 19 using #OHCLeeds.

Remember, we’re a Collective – we don’t work without you guys and we want you to be involved!

We’ll be beginning on 1st April (no, this is not an April Fool!) so do head on over and check us out – just search for Our Handmade Collective or tag us at @ourhandmadecollective

Meet you over there!

Claire & Nat x

Creative Craft Classes for March – Spring is here!

Spring has certainly come in like a lion so far weather wise, but we have lots of lovely Creative Craft Classes taking place this month which will want you to brave the rain/sleet/snow (and whatever else arrives!) and join us in our cosy little store with cups of tea, cakes and lots of crafty chat!

Metal Stamped Keyrings

Tomorrow evening we will be learning how to stamp metal keyrings with Zoe of Hello Halfpenny. We’ll find out the secret of how to write words in a straight line and all sorts of other secrets, using cute little tools and stamps – and sounding like elves tapping away in Santa’s workshop!

This class is fully booked, but if you are interested in future classes please do let us know.

Making Fabric Rag Wreaths

Lynn of Lydia Teapot will be showing us how to make this fabulous fabric rag wreath in your choice of colours on Thursday 17th March.

Using coloured fabric strips and finishing your creation off with embellishments such as buttons and lace, you’ll make a fabulous wreath decoration to adorn your home!

Class cost is £25.  Call 0113 4182304 or pop into the store to book.

Making Felted Jewellery

On Thursday 24th March join Lucy of George & Lilly to learn the art of wet felting, and then turn your creations into fabulously funky jewellery such as this bracelet.

Delving into the art of wet felting, get your hands stuck into some soapy water and create some felt beads, balls and strings that you can turn into bright and colourful jewellery to wear on your way home!

Class cost is £25.  Call 0113 4182304 or pop into the store to book

Folded Book Art

Sue of Paperweight Products will be showing us the magic of how to make these gorgeous Folded Book Art sculptures on Thursday 31st March.

You’ll learn the techniques to be able to make your own creations, and we have a large range of patterns available to purchase instore – once you get the bug it’s addictive!

Class cost is £20. Call 0113 4182304 or pop into the store to book.

You can find more details on each of our Creative Craft Classes on our Facebook Events page.  We can’t wait to share a cuppa and some cake with you!

Claire & Nat x

Vote for OHC to win Independent Business of the Year!

You may have noticed us mentioning a little thing called the Yorkshire Choice Awards a few times over the last few months….

If you haven’t, where have you been hiding?!

We’re super excited and extremely proud to have been nominated for Independent Business of the Year, it really means a lot to us that our customers like what we have to offer!

Hopefully you have already voted for us, but if you haven’t there’s just one week left as voting closes on 29th February…..

So if  you love what we do and think we deserve your vote, it only takes two seconds and we would really appreciate it!

We’ll do a happy dance if we get shortlisted….who knows what we might do if we actually win 😉

Our Handmade Collective IBOY

We currently have 7,219 followers across our social media channels – surely one vote from everyone is enough for us to win?

http://www.yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/#!vote-here/c1bv4

With much love and crossed fingers and toes …

Claire & Natalie x

Meet the Makers: Melodies

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We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Maker specials, please say hello to Gemma of Melodies…

How did you become a designer/maker?

I’ve always had a creative streak in me but I originally studied Interdisciplinary Practices at Leeds College of Art and Design. I kept on dabbling in creative processes as a hobby alongside my day job. But in 2012 I couldn’t resist making my passion my career.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

There’s no secret meaning behind my name. I wanted something plain, simple and that implied a musical connection. I had a few names on the table and just went with one. Lots of people do now presume my name is Melody though, and I have joked I’ll legally change my name once I become really successful.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I started off running my business full time for the first year, getting all the boring stuff in place. I now balance this with a part time job in an Independent home wares store. It helps keep me stay creative and its really near OHC, so I’m always on hand for a restock!

How do you fit it all in and keep that balance?

I’m very lucky in my other job that I do have an element of flexibility. Mainly I have learnt to prioritise, fitting admin in where I can and on evenings, then making products in my full days. I have a studio at home and also a messy workshop further away, which means I have to plan, and get lots of work done without distractions.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

It has to be the designing and making. I only use a select range of materials so I force myself to be creative with them. I love getting my hands dirty, cutting, sanding, melting, anything goes!

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

This is impossible to answer. I love loads of my different pieces for different reasons. Some of my more popular designs I fall out of love with because I end up making so many (not that I’m complaining). Other designs I love making but can be so time consuming so I never make them again because they’re not financially viable. Some of my larger scale work can be really fun to do but then turns out to be really impractical. This process changes all the time.

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Describe your business in three words

Nostalgic, bold and geometric

We just love your way of using Vinyl for new creations Gemma! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Melodies collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Creative Craft Classes for January & February

We’re back with a bang this January & February and we have lots of crafty ideas in store to get those creative juices flowing again after the festive break. We have some brand new Creative Craft Classes to offer you this year so keeps your eyes fully peeled over the coming months!

Felting Workshop Leeds

Lucy of George & Lilly will be showing us how to create a unique piece of artwork using her felt picture technique on Thursday 21st January at 6.30pm
Delving into the art of wet felting, get your hands stuck into some soapy water and create some fun artwork that you can take home with you.
£25. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book.

 

Making Resin Jewellery Workshop Leeds

Zoe of Hello Halfpenny will be teaching you how to make your very own resin jewellery on Thursday 4th and 18th February at 6.30pm.

Bring along your own keepsakes and learn how to encase them forever in resin and how to make the finished pieces into jewellery. All other materials are provided. This is a two part class, both are included in the price.
£40. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book.

 

Origami Workshop Leeds

Chloe of Life’s Big Canvas will be showing us the modern art of modular Origami on Wednesday 10th February at 6.30pm.
Make your own everlasting flowers with these origami stemmed blossoms, a perfect Valentines or Mother’s Day gift. All materials provided.
£15. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book.

Learn Folded Book Art

Sue of Paperweight Products will be showing us the magic of how to make these gorgeous Folded Book Art sculptures on Wednesday 24th February.

You’ll learn the techniques to be able to make your own creations, and we have a large range of patterns available to purchase instore – once you get the bug it’s addictive!

Class cost is £20. Call 0113 4182304 or pop into the store to book.

Craft Evenings

Claire of Little Shop of Lathers will be showing us how to whip up some bath bombs on Thursday 25th February at 6.30pm.
Using all natural ingredients, create your own colour and scent combinations with lots of shapes to play with. If that’s not fun enough, you will also get a FREE Make Your Own Kit to take home.
£25.00. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book.

We can’t wait to share a cuppa and a biscuit with you! x

Our 2015 highlights – what a year we’ve had!

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time for us to take a look back on all that’s happened during the year…..and there’s been a lot!

We’ve had the pleasure of working with our amazing makers to bring you the best of handmade gifts, we’ve met some fabulous new friends and we’ve discovered just how creative the folk of Yorkshire can be….

In March we launched our Creative Craft Classes.  We’ve had such a lot of fun and met some lovely folk who are as passionate about being creative as we are – we’ve laughed, we’ve eaten cake, we’ve drunk tea, we’ve made pretty things, we’ve learnt new skills – and we’ve even picked up a loyal group of regulars who’ve come along to a few of our classes!

Learn Origami Leeds
Showing off completed Origami dresses!

 

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Julie and Kathleen, showing off their completed Vintage Teacup Pincushions, just one of the many classes they attended this year!

Details of our January to April Creative Craft Classes are on our facebook events page – with more being added all the time!

In June we celebrated our second birthday – what a day we had! We had fizz, cake and lots of lovely family, friends and customers coming down to celebrate with us – including two of our favourite customers, Peter and Gary, who became honorary staff members for the day!

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Peter and Gary lending a hand on our 2nd birthday celebrations

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In July we were very excited to be featured by The Talented Ladies Club, with a lovely little article all about us – if you didn’t get chance to read it, you can catch up with it here!

talentedladiesclubIn August the fabulous folk at Leeds Love Affair made our year by describing us as ‘The best handmade department store in town’ – yay! Best Handmade Department Store In Town

In September we took part in the Heritage Open Days weekend, along with the other retailers in the Grand Arcade, and had great fun dressing in Victorian costumes and showing folk around our Arcade and the fabled Potts Clock.  We also held the launch of the Leeds Back In The Day 2016 Calendar, of which we are proud sponsors and retailers.  LBITD founder Jason even joined in the fun and dressed up with us!

It was a fabulous weekend, with lots and lots of folk coming along, including Made in Leeds TV who made this excellent video of the shenanigans!

Jason Leeds Back In The Day Founder with our Claire

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In October it was the highlight of our Events calendar with our Mince Pies, Mistletoe & Mulled Wine – It’s Back… Christmas product launch! We had such fun, the Christmas jumpers were on show everywhere, our awesome customers supported us in droves (and it was a rainy and rubbish evening weather wise so we were doubly grateful to everyone who came along!) – the mince pies and mulled wine went down a treat, and you guys bought Christmas goodies in abundance!

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The lovely Rachel modelling her Christmas Jumper and OHC Shopper bag!
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The gorgeously cute Emily showing off her Christmas Jumper and red nose to complete the ensemble!

 

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Lots of happy Christmas shoppers!

We rounded off our 2015 by being featured in The Guardian newspaper, and being nominated for a Yorkshire Choice Award for Independent Business of the Year – WOW! To say we’re overwhelmed is a bit of an understatement!

Our Handmade Collective IBOY

If you could consider helping to make our 2016 even more amazing, we’d love your vote to help us win…. Click here to vote for us in the Yorkshire Choice Awards!

This December has been our busiest shopping season yet, with so many customers old and new visiting us to purchase Christmas gifts galore!  We’re so humbled and appreciative that we have such loyal and supportive customers – and we thank each and every one of you for keeping us at number one on TripAdvisor for Shopping in Leeds!

So as 2015 draws to a close, we wish you all a very Happy New Year and a very productive and creative 2016!

Much love, Claire & Natalie x

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Our Christmas Gift Guide: Gifts For Guys

Christmas Gift Guide For Men
In gift buying hell? Let us help and guide you into gift buying heaven with our fabulous Christmas gift guide for men. With 60 independent designers all under one roof, we make it our mission to find the most unique presents for your loved ones, which is why we’re the best handmade department store in town.

Quirky artwork made inside classic books, grumpy coal if he’s been naughty and money boxes for your Fantastic Mr Fox to save his pennies. Get your notebooks made from real vinyl records wrapped in store using our gift wrapping service or select an already beautiful gift set to make him smell incredible. Celebrate his beard or the city he hails from, give him the gift of everlasting beer with our fun squashed beer bottle clocks and dress him up all fancy for New Years Eve with our gorgeous range of ties, bow ties and cufflinks.

If you’re still feeling lost, pop in store and chat to one of our lovely members of staff. We’d be delighted to make some new friends and we love showing you our latest makes!

Don’t forget it’s Small Business Saturday this weekend so drop by for some extra awesome special offers.

See you at the shop x

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