The co-owner of a new craft shop in Oxford city centre said staff have been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from shoppers.

Natasha Martell and her business partner Linsday Smith have opened a new branch of The Crafters Emporium in the former Whistles clothing store in High Street.

The opening on Friday followed a spell for the business as a pop-up in the Clarendon Centre.

It also has branches in Didcot, Faringdon and Kidlington.

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Ms Martell, who lives in Didcot, launched The Crafters Emporium in 2019 and it has quickly built up a loyal following among the crafts community in Oxfordshire.

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She said: “We opened in Oxford on Friday and it went very well -oh my goodness!

“We were a little surprised by the number of people who came along.

“I have always wanted to open in the High Street and the former Whistles store is actually perfect for us.

“We did have a spot in the Clarendon Centre for a while but I think this will work even better - it’s quite a big unit.”

Ms Martell said negotiations for the unit got under way in February and following a number of delays they were allowed to move in.

She added: “It’s the right time for us to launch here as Oxford continues to open up and we can start selling crafts in the run-up to Christmas."

Ms Martell said she has a loyal group of suppliers from the crafts community who display goods in her stores.

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There are all kinds of different items on show including resin clocks, stained glass, knitted items, children’s clothes, decoupage, jewellery, wood products, cards and more.

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Honey, and Well Preserved jams made by Jeanette Howse from Didcot are also on sale.

Ms Martell added: “A lot of the crafts we sell are unique - you won’t be able to find them anywhere else.”

She started out in the crafts industry by working in Didcot’s Oxford Etsy store in the town’s Orchard Centre.

Ms Martell added: “I learned a lot there and decided I wanted to start up my own business as a result.”

The co-owner added that making crafts has proved popular as therapy during the coronavirus lockdown and has helped some young people to cope with mental health problems.

“We try to support young people as much as possible,” she added.

“Young crafters can try out making jewellery and key rings - it can be quite therapeutic.

“People doing crafts became quite a big thing during lockdown - our youngest crafter is nine - she enjoys making coasters."

Oxford Mail:

The Crafters Emporium in Oxford also sells household refills and is open seven days a week.

For more information about The Crafters Emporium stores visit