Fabrication – a gift to Leeds’ retail offer

I hate shopping. I like buying things, mainly when I want gifts for other people or to replace whichever one of my favourite possessions has reached such a state of disrepair that it becomes embarrassing to be seen in or with it. I just hate the retail experience. All too often I’ve found myself plodding round identikit pedestrianized zones, conveyor belts directing me past the same shops all selling variations of the same ‘on trend’ products.  What I am always looking for is something which stands out from the crowd of clones; a product with a story, something personal and preferably unique. If it gives local designers, manufacturing processes or disadvantaged groups an otherwise closed route to the marketplace which the high-street’s big-hitters would happily fence off, then all the better. Luckily, Leeds’ ‘retail offer’ gives us far more than department stores and pound shops.

So when Chris LG recommended Fabrication through our directory page, goodforleeds dispatched blogger Dorit-Samantha Vaknine to interview the store’s manager to find out more:

Fabrication is a shop like no other selling hand made products including crafts, jewellery, jams and cordials- an extremely eclectic mix of products! I interviewed Dawn the manager to find out more about her store and the impact it has on Leeds.

Here is a Q and A

Q: How long has the business been going?

A: The business has been going 4 and half years in total and the shop 1 and a half years

Q: What makes your shop unique?

A: Everything in here is made by locals so you feel part of the community. We also put on craft events, which enable people to network which is very useful. Also people with learning disabilities have a chance to show off their skills and make some products for us, we promote equality.

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Q: What kind of products do you sell?

A: Anything from jams and cordials for you to take home to your friends, to ceramics, jewellery, we have a very diverse mix. Products starting from £1 and rising up to £400, so we have something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

Q: Who do you class as the demographic for your shop?

A: There isn’t a specific demographic, we cater for a huge mix of ages to suit every market and price range, I think this is why the shop has been such a success.

Q: How many collaborators are you currently working with?

A: Currently we have 41 collaborators making the products

Q: Do you think your shop improves Leeds as a city?

A: Yes, I think the shop improves the city, people like the ethos behind it

Q: What do you think makes you so unique?

A: We don’t sell things that you find in other people’s shops, you would never find any of our products elsewhere. Interior designers come in for clients to get things made up specifically. We also have a ‘Wishlist’ which people can fill out and we can make anything they want, you also know that if you buy something from us that it will be original and of   really good quality.

Q: Finally, what makes your business good for Leeds?

A: We are unique. friendly, local and independent. We are not funded so every penny goes to the sellers so that they don’t starve. Also, we are not mass produced.

I would like to thank Dawn for her time and insight into her business.

Dorit-Samantha Vaknine is a writer, radio personality and chatterbox rolled into one. Follow her on twitter @1970s fan, and read her blog about 1970s sit-coms at http://1970sfan.wordpress.com .

Fabrication Crafts Ltd, Unit A20, The Light,
West Yorkshire
0113 243 9140
For opening times and a full list of workshops and events, go to http://www.fabric-ation.co.uk/



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