''Excellent'' website for local makers celebrates six-month success

Oriana Evans

An online directory of local makers and artists now has more than 350 creative people listed, just six months after the website was launched.

TheMakersDirectory.co.uk was set up in March to showcase the wealth of creative talent locally and encourage people to buy directly from them, using funding from Lewes District Council as part of its business support response to Covid-19.

People can use The Makers Directory to search for unique crafts, shop for handmade gifts, commission work for their home or get creative and find someone to teach them a new skill, while supporting local businesses to thrive and grow.

Categories include ceramics, homeware, jewellery, photography, illustration, furniture and paint.

Councillor James MacCleary, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "Our makers community is growing quickly across the district. One of the impacts of lockdown was that some people took the opportunity to turn hobbies or ideas into businesses based at home or locally. The Makers Directory has done a great job of showcasing and promoting new makers and those that have been creating locally for years

"I hope that we'll see the Directory going from strength to strength in the coming months and years."

Makers and artists can list their business for free on the website and The Makers Directory is building a strong following on Instagram.

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets, said: "Lewes district is well known for its creative spirit and is packed with makers and artists, as we have seen at the fantastic Artwave festival recently.

"Spending money locally is crucial for a strong economy - it helps create more jobs and ensures independent outlets can continue to trade and provide us with a broad range of products to choose from.

"We can all play a part in supporting our creative people - who, like many, have experienced a tough time over the last 18 months - and using The Makers Directory is an excellent way to do this. Well done on a great first six months!"

Following the success of The Makers Directory art market at the Bar at the Bandstand event in Newhaven in July, more events are being planned to connect people and local businesses with the creative community.

Oriana Evans, from orianajewellery.com based in Lewes, said: "I felt so proud to be part of The Makers Directory at Bar at the Bandstand."

She added: "I can see so many things evolving from this and I feel excited about my future as a maker."