Independent department store lights up Leeds shopping! #IndieRetail by @fabricationls2

This is a guest blog provided by Dawn Wood, Founder of Fabrication Crafts…

At a time when there’s so much doom and gloom on the high street one business is bucking the trend and celebrating the opening of a new shop in Leeds city centre.  Fabrication Crafts is a Social Enterprise which supports micro crafts and fashion businesses by offering workspace, mentoring and support, as well as teaching craft classes in house and in the community.

Fabrication has come a long way!

Founded by Dawn Wood 4 years ago, Fabrication has come a long way opening their first pop up shop last October and expanding to a more permanent one in the Merrion Centre at the start of 2012. Due to the work being done on the centre this lease is coming to an end and a chance request by “The Light” to run workshops in the centre, has led to them opening a new much larger shop, in the old confetti unit.

Leed’s first Independent Department Store…

The breadth of items being sold in there mean it is Leeds first independent department store with over 50 sellers for the initial popup week, with artists, designers and crafters, who’s work would never otherwise have a presence on the high street, being sold in one of Leeds busiest shopping centres.

The shop has now been granted a licence for 6 months and each business will contribute to the running of the shop, having ‘meet the maker’ days so customers can see the amount of work that goes into creating an item, and other shopping events. Items sold include locally made jams cordials & sauces, flapjacks & popcorns, soaps, skincare and massage oils, mugs, pinnies, babygrows, furniture, artwork, mosaics, glassware, ceramics, jewellery, clothing, cards, zines  & wedding suppliers with many  mores stockists joining them as they move into longer term occupancy,

The Fabrication Philosophy –  enable people to develop skills and be self-sufficient whether it is learning crafts or managing a micro business

As a tailor and designer herself, her philosophy for Fabrication is that it should enable people to develop skills and be self- sufficient whether it is learning craft skills or managing a micro business.  The recession has revived the make do and mend culture, putting Fabrication right at the heart of this movement.  Now the business works in adult social care as well as with refugee organisations, TUC Yorkshire, Local housing organisations and corporate clients, local organisations such as People Matters will also be selling work by their enterprise & art groups .

To complement the goods on sale craft classes will also run in the shop.  You’ll be able to learn everything from crochet to wreath making, candle making, felting and how handle a sewing machine.  Activities will take place in the daytime, at weekends and in the evenings.  More than 40 different classes are available this autumn, as well as craft clubs for those on personal budgets, They also provide crafty hen parties & corporate events and will be running a charity knitathon this Saturday 20th October in aid of Thyroid awareness week and the LoveArts Festival

For more information contact Dawn Wood on, call 0113 243 9140 or visit

About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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