I attended the opening night of the Handmade Boutique (5th floor of the Mailbox, Birmingham) on Wednesday. It's open 11am to 6pm 7 days a week from now until the end of December, so if you want to pay a visit you'll need to do so in the next few months.
The store has been set up by Tracie Bedwood (who makes the candles above, in vintage glassware and ditsy tea-cups) with help from her favourite producers drawn from Midlands craft and handmade fairs in the past few months. I know the guys at the Black Acres Soap Pantry and went along to support.
Their soaps are great, really moisturising and smell great. My husband absolutely loves them and they're very reasonably priced (most products less than £5) so it's not hard to treat yourself!
I really liked the pieces from Perlina Jewellery who have a workshop in Lichfield. The jewellery is particularly striking and the necklaces would need a bit of confidence to wear, but I am positive that you'd feel a million pounds wearing one. There are also some simpler pieces (bracelets and rings) which would suit the more conservative jewellery fan.
Photos above by Gary Price photo.
I stopped by the chocolate counter of Daniel Jones and sampled the extra-dark chocolate, which was really good, being very dark, bitter but not at all sour like some of the commercial dark chocolates. Daniel is doing some live demonstrations at the shop at 1pm on Saturday 13th October, and the shop is sure to smell gorgeous whilst that's going on!
I was really impressed by the folded and woven paper handbags (yes, handbags!). They are really intricate and would be an amazing gift, clearly they take a lot of time to put together. I particularly like the antique map and crossword bags. These little beauties are made by Weave and Stitch.
If, like my sister in law, you're always looking for that special gift or an item to treat yourself with that no-one else has and is not mass produced for the high street it's in little shops like these that you'll find a good selection in a warm and comfortable environment.
I've also included the direct web links for each maker I spoke to, if anything particular takes your fancy!
Just to note, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are genuinely my own.