Artisans open co-op shop

A co-op of about 30 Marlborough craftspeople have set up shop selling hand-made products in Picton over summer.

The Marlborough Creative Artisans store in Mariners Mall is collectively managed by about 30 volunteers, who have taken turns managing the shop and selling each other's products since November 12 and plan to continue until at least February next year.

The artists make and sell a range of art, photographs, furniture and carving woodwork, jewellery, and fabric products among other crafts handmade in Marlborough.

Whoever is in charge when a sale is made takes the money and writes down what was purchased so the producer gets paid.

Store volunteer and Marlborough Creative Fibre Guild member Pam Hilliard said the co-op hoped to make the most of visitors from cruise ships over summer and several members also had stalls at the markets held on the foreshore.

The group were offered the empty shop for a low rental price which made it "just-possible" for the group to afford to set up their goods, but it also meant they might have to move if a regular renter wanted the space.

"All the [office] equipment is donated, along with the people's time.

"It's something that's not been in here before, and when something new comes in people like to have a look - it breathes a bit of fresh air into things.

"We just hope lots of people will come through, not just to admire the work but for people from cities to take something home with them."

The goods were of a high quality and offered people another reason to take a look around Picton, she said.

The Marlborough Express