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Why our local Artisan Markets are my first place to shop.

I recall when I was a teenager in the 90's, The Potteries Shopping Centre, The Arndale Centre and later the Trafford Centre really were the pinnacle of retail therapy.

It was a day out, a place of convenience - all of your favourite retailers based at one huge oasis, with a choice of eateries and coffee houses.

My, was this a treat?!

Fast forward to today, 30 years later and the appeal of a large shopping centre does no more than fill me with dread! The soul less buildings that house household names, the business that have seen huge successes that we as consumers have contributed to, but who really are we buying from? Where are these profits being spent or invested? Most of these businesses are worlds apart from where their journey started.

Did you know that Nike started its journey by selling shoes out of the back of a car? Starbucks started with one coffee shop? The Cambridge Satchel Company was started on a Kitchen Table by Mother and Daughter Team?

Each business has a story and the businesses that really excite me are the ones at the start of their journey's, the people behind these businesses who really are working hard to move forward. The Nike's and Starbucks of tomorrow.

Our local artisan markets are Castle Artisan based on the Stones in Newcastle Under Lyme on the third Sunday of the month or Piccadilly Artisan based in Piccadilly Hanley on the fourth Sunday of the month, not only breath new life into the High Streets but are also full of unique small businesses. I see so much passion, hard work and quality of product that shopping with a large retailer looses its appeal.

Piccadilly Artisan Market: 4th Sunday of the month

At these markets you can buy just about anything. Vegan based Dog treats, Homeware, Art, Candles, Clothes, Pies, Puddings, Handbags, Food.

They are a place where traders work together and where regular customers come back time after time, they are a place where a business transitions from a small market stall to a shop or an online marketplace. Markets like this are full of talent, potential and our Future.

I am very excited to see the future of some of these traders and I like to feel that by buying from them and supporting them somehow I am apart of their journey.

Follow @castleartisan and @piccadillyartisan on Instagram.

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