More than just a Gift Shop.......
In the heart of Thornbury, you'll find the unique gift shop, Celebration Fairs. Launched almost 6 years ago, founder and owner James Brewer is an extremely passionate retailer, promoting and selling arts & crafts made by local artists from around the area, with a vision of bringing together a wider community.
So beneath the surface, what makes Celebration Fairs so unique? James explains why...
Unique Gifts - The majority of Celebration Fairs' business comes from customers buying gifts made from our local artists and crafters. Having recognised that not everybody chooses to buy gifts based on price, Celebration Fairs offers something different, focusing on quality and originality. Most importantly Celebration Fairs is dedicated to finding out what the customer is looking for, offering personalisation to create a memorable gift for a special occasion, whether it be to celebrate a special birthday, wedding anniversary or the arrival of a new baby.
Local Artists - Celebration Fairs essentially provides a platform for local artists and crafters to display their work in a professional environment, allowing them to discover the potential of making a living out of their talents and passion. With over 25 artists displaying products as a collective group, this offers the customer a broad selection of products, with a policy not to offer duplicated crafts. Russ Summer, Celebration Fairs' our photographer says, "I'm really grateful for the retail space within the shop, as it allows me not only to fulfil my family and pet photo shoots, but also to display my range of local landscape photographs, which are proving to be very popular. Russ also acknowledges this and says a "big thank you" to all whom have purchased from the shop.
Local Experiences - Celebration Fairs is often asked to create wish lists for weddings, as it is the perfect place to find a special present which is a little different.Not all customers are seeking a tangible gift, so Celebration Fairs represents andspecialises in experiences offered by local service providers such as afternoon tea, local dining experiences or overnight stay - all gift wrapped by one of our artists creating the perfect present. Always on the lookout for new services to display in a retail environment, contact James if you own or run a local hotel, restaurant, event, creative workshops, museum or local exhibition.
Young@Art is a division within Celebration Fairs which aims to encourage budding younger artists and emphasise the importance of Arts & Crafts in the community. Last year, Celebration Fairs ran a competition to mark the annual community event - Thornbury Carnival. Entered by many, but in particular our regular twin entrants, all demonstrated their creative potential and showed their diverse talent in drawing and model making. One of the twin’s entry won 1st Prize, which resulted in her drawing of the Carnival Parade through the High Streetmaking it onto the front cover of the most recent Thornbury's Community Magazine!
This year, our Countryside Living competition has been entered by over 35 enthusiastic young artists from local schools and the community and marks the celebration of Thornbury Carnival. The artwork has been displayed in Celebration Fairs for judging by the local community and customers.
Another regular competition entrant is Charlotte, aged 10. Having got to know Charlotte, James discovered that she also had an infectious enthusiasm for jewellery making, so much so that he is proudly displaying pieces of her work in the shop and is pleased to see our customers purchasing them. Well done Charlotte!! Her mum enjoys supporting Charlotte's talents, and with an interest in locally product products, also volunteers in the shop.
Partnerships - Celebration Fairs now offer retail opportunities and space for organisations that have artists whom would like to embark on group products, not only to advertise local services but to help raise money for community projects. Other projects in the pipeline include working with Leyhill Prison where Celebration Fairs is looking to utilise their printing services and also work with offenders by offering them the opportunity to contribute something back into society. Celebration Fairs is also partnering with GDA (Gloucestershire Dyslexic Association), which is something very close to James' heart - having been diagnosed, at a later stage of his life, with dyslexia.
Volunteering - Thanks to running Celebration Fairs, James met local retiree and volunteer Sylvia who helps out in the shop twice a week. Not only brilliant with the customers, Sylvia continually supports Celebration Fairs' Artists by being one of our many valued customers. When James interviewed me, he asked ‘where do I see myself in a few years time ?’, to which I promptly replied ‘alive!’ Joking aside, I really look forward to working my two afternoons a week in the shop and seeing the talented artists' work, watching customer’s reactions and meeting new people" says Sylvia.
James' himself sometimes struggles to believe that Celebration Fairs is almost 6 years old, a journey that has allowed him to ‘find’ himself and to develop something that he believes will help people and communities on a local basis.
We would love to welcome you to the shop, whether it be for that special gift, an opportunity to offer your artistic talents or commercial services, develop a youth partnership scheme or simply volunteer in the shop. Please visit the shop or contact James directly. Celebration Fairs is located in St Mary's Street, Thornbury BS35 2AB. James Brewer 07788 905623