Crafty Duke Events – Harnessing the Power of Independents

We work with independent traders to give them a platform to sell their products in high footfall areas of footfall within shopping centres.

Not only does this hugely benefit the small businesses but it also gives a centre a competitive advantage by having them in.

Carina Turner, director at Shoppertainment Management said: “Even though centres attract shoppers largely because of their national tenant mix, local independent traders continue to add so much value and help fill in the gaps of what could be otherwise missing.  Shoppers want variety and Shoppertainment have worked with so many local traders over the last 20 plus years to bring extra value to the centres within our portfolio.  This value has been in the form of rates mitigation, additional income and product variety as well as in creating vibrancy in the malls and enhancing the overall shopper experience with a centre.” 

Shoppertainment has recently worked with Crafty Duke Events, who curate craft events for small businesses in Yorkshire.

Carina said: “Following a number of conversations I met Victoria from Crafty Duke Events last year and we came up with a plan to launch a local and inclusive craft and artisan market at Crossgates Shopping Centre.  Following the initial market, which ran in July 2023 and consisted of six local traders, the business has grown from strength to strength as they have championed local and small business crafters.  The increasingly popular and regular market now comprises of 12 traders and some of them have been nominated for this year’s Yorkshire Choice Awards.”

Victoria said: “Our mission is to support small, handmade businesses by providing them with a platform to showcase their products to a wider audience. Before we set up Crafty Duke Events, my husband Ian and I had taken our businesses across Yorkshire in search of locations that worked for us to sell our products but we wanted a venue closer to home.  Having already built valuable relationships with other handmade sole trader businesses, we were acutely aware that our hometown of Leeds was booming with talent that needed an accessible and viable outlet.”

“Our partnership with Shoppertainment and Crossgates Shopping Centre has been transformational for many of our traders. They’ve been able to make a dream a reality. It’s imperative to keep the ‘shop local’ ethic alive.”

Ian Mathewman, regional centre manager of Crossgates Shopping Centre said: “Weve been delighted with public’s response to the handmade and craft artisan market since it launched.  Expertly curated and promoted by the team, these monthly markets bring together a great selection of small businesses, selling great products with true local authenticity.  As well as the increased offer they bring to our East Leeds shoppers, and the additional footfall they drive, they also provide much needed vibrancy to the malls, creating a real sense of event every time.”

Crafty Duke Events were recently tweeted by Theo Paphitis during Small Business Sunday, a weekly initiative that supports small businesses in the UK. Theo’s repost of their tweet meant Crafty Duke Events received new followers and a spike in interest for their craft markets.