Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Imagine Design Create, Seaton - A sad goodbye

It is with great sadness that i write this post but the time has come to announce the closure of Imagine Design Create Seaton's arts & crafts center.

After 5 fantastic years of serving the Seaton community and tourists i am heart broken to have to wind down my business but due to a combination of factors we just can't survive.

I did my best to save the shop and i honestly believed i could but things have gotten worse rather than better here on Queen Street and i received news yesterday that finally broke me.

I know many of you have questioned why i don't simply relocate my shop down closer to the seafront where more people would find me. The reason is i invested in Seaton when i moved here by purchasing the building that we live and work in. When we purchased it, Queen Street had a reasonable footfall with the post office just down the road, markets regularly over on Winsor Gardens and a real community feel to the place with other shops surrounding us. The post office closed, the markets moved to nearby Tesco and nearly all the other shops on the street have now gone. Queen Street is now a forgotten street full of mostly empty shops. The building i purchased is now not worth what i paid for it therefore i wouldn't be able to let / sell it and be able to re-invest in somewhere closer to the seafront.

When we moved here there were no other creative shops or businesses. Over the 5 years we have noticed a massive increase in galleries and crafty shops popping up in Seaton. This filled me with hope that maybe we would be able to survive because Seaton was becoming well known for being a creative little town. Unfortunately this hasn't happened.

Signage kept being promised to try and direct people up towards Queen Street, the signage put in place though doesn't work, it isn't clear enough, big enough or promoting the INDEPENDENTS enough. Many people I've spoken to have in fact said it is more confusing than helpful. I feel very let down to be honest as i know so much more could have been done to improve this area of town. If those with the power actually tried to, i do believe this area of town could have been saved but it is in a downward spiral.

Rising costs in running a business (staffing, utilities, stock, taxes etc) combined with a drastic decrease in footfall / takings has left me with no choice.

I want to personally thank everyone who has supported us over the years, it has truly been fantastic living and working here in Seaton. My sons love it here and i really hope that we will be able to stay here in some shape or form but i can't really say what will happen yet.

I am truly sorry to my lovely staff member Tracy who has worked for me now for a few years and many of you will know her well. She has become an amazing friend as well as staff member and i'm so sorry to have to let her down.

I'm also sorry to anyone who is going to miss out on getting their craft supplies here or who enjoyed coming here for our creative workshops. I do hope that i will be able to re-structure and offer art, yarn and some workshops but again i can't really say for sure yet as it very much depends how things go with the clearance as to if i will be able to afford to.

Hopefully this isn't a complete goodbye and i will of course continue to support and promote the businesses in Seaton and surrounding areas as i wish them all the luck in the world.

1 comment:

  1. So very sorry to hear this Kerri-Ann. As the owner of one of the other creative businesses in Seaton, I think it's a real loss to the town. You are a staunch supporter of everything Seaton and it's so very sad that you have had to make these tough decisions. Whatever the future holds for you, I hope you find a positive way through for you and your family. Take care, Linda

    ReplyDelete