Friday, 29 January 2021

Does Seaton really need an Art & Crafts shop? - Is there a future for Devon Art Supplies?


 
Devon Art Supplies (previously known as Imagine Design Create) has been based in Seaton since 2014. When we first moved here we not only offered arts & craft supplies but workshops, arty parties, demonstration days and so much more. Over the years we have had to adapt to the changes in demand to meet the needs of our community and visitors. It hasn't been easy and there have been times we almost gave up but we pushed on and we got through it. 

We have done major building works on the shop over the years in an effort to offer an enjoyable shopping and browsing experience. We wanted to be a shop Seaton could be proud of. 

We have built up our website and social media channels to try to showcase what we offer and to reach a wider audience too. 

Due to the changing situation in recent years the shop has had to be run single handedly by myself, Kerri-Ann, since early 2020. We were unable to afford to keep on staff and Jon had to return to full time employment to help keep a roof over our family's head. 

I've done my best to run the shop on my own through 2020 this includes opening the shop 6 days a week 9.30am till 2.30pm (limited hours so I can still care for my children / school runs etc) running the website, social media, Etsy & other additional sales outlets. Delivering locally through lockdowns for anyone ordering. Posting orders in the UK and internationally etc. Offering art & craft lessons both in person and online. Whilst also creating art and selling my work in store and online. (A massive thank you to all my customers you've been a massive help to keep things going) 

Each lockdown has had a major impact on sales, at first I thought we would survive as customers were still placing orders on our website / calling to order etc but this has massively reduced in this lockdown. I'm wondering if this is because people are shopping elsewhere online? Shopping in stores that are still open because they offer 'essentials'? or if there is simply no local demand for creative supplies and kits anymore? 

These thoughts bring me to the question of whether Seaton really wants or needs Devon Art Supplies anymore? 

Does the Seaton community want an arts & crafts supplies shop? 

Would you prefer the shop unit offered something else? If so what?? 

Please be honest, your views are very important to me right now, I am at a point where I'm unsure whether I'm giving the community something it really needs or whether my time and effort would be best spent elsewhere. 

Thank you in advance for any comments and feedback. 

Kerri-Ann, Jon and family x



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