Business, Community

Overseas buyers get crafty

Janet Steggle hope the Marlborough Creative Artisans new shop will be a big hit. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

A posse of Picton crafters have been making their mark across the world as their work gets snapped up by overseas buyers.

The Marlborough Creative Artisans are set to mark seven years since they first opened their doors.

And with a new, larger premises in Mariners Mall in the heart of Picton, there is plenty for the 30-strong team to celebrate.

Members hope the new High St venue will boost sales locally when the number of tourists drops off after cruise ship season closed.

Artisan knitter Janet Steggle says the new site, in the former post office building, is more prominent.

“We’re lucky that we didn’t have to do any work to it, except a bit of cleaning.

“As we’re a co-operative, we all got involved, along with husbands and family, and spent a whole weekend moving and arranging.

“It’s a lovely, bright, airy space with great light,” she says.

A range of work is on display, from colourful knitwear and water colours to jewellery and baby clothes.

The shop attracts a variety of customers, with many making the effort to keep in touch once they’ve left New Zealand.

Janet has seen some of her creations end-up in places from Alaska to Tasmania.

“Customers want to buy something unique, hand-crafted and locally made.

“We’ve sold things that go all over the world. Cruise ship passengers especially need things that are easy to take back with them.

“Some of the ships have craft groups on board or knitting groups and passengers are really excited when they see what we have on offer,” she says.

“I’ve had emails from Alaska and photos from Tasmania from people who have bought my knitwear”.

The shop’s big draw is the fact that everything on sale is made locally from people who live in the region.

“You have to live in Marlborough and make the work yourself,” says Janet.

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