Today, WeAreTyrone is launching a new series of business profiles. Each fortnight, we will highlight a local business, showcasing the innovation and ingenuity that is making a vital contribution to our economy. For November, we profile Omagh Craft Collective – a unique business which offers Ulster-based crafters the opportunity to display and sell their products
As you step through the entrance of Omagh Craft Collective, you are transported to a place of creativity, tranquillity and beauty.
You don’t simply shop in this craft store – you experience. You don’t look – you peruse. And you don’t purchase – you collect.
You’re probably thinking, how could a craft store possibly possess the magical ability to transform your mood?
Well, this craft store does.
The Omagh Craft Collective is a not-for-profit operation, furnished with all things beautiful, sentimental and, most importantly, local.
Set up 12 years ago, the ‘Collective’ is made up of founding members, Carol and Claire.
Along with four other directors, Tracy, Pauline, Terry and Caroline, they all have a profound passion for crafts.
The Craft Collective consists of 50 micro-businesses, offering Ulster-based crafters a clean, bright and professional surrounding to display and sell their products.
When a craft sells, the profits go directly to the crafter, with only a small percentage going to the Collective for general upkeep of the store and maintainence.
It’s essentially a community interest company, with more than one purpose.
It sells crafts first and foremost, but it’s also an information hub.
If the craft store doesn’t have what you’re looking for, then they will point you in the direction of someone who does. The Craft Collective is a unique business in Omagh.
No item in the craft store is mass produced – each piece distinctive, different and quirky.
And as a deciduous tree changes shades throughout the seasons of the year – turning an emerald green in the spring and auburn in the autumn – the Craft Collective store adjusts similarly to suit the season.
Their shop windows are always being restyled and updated, keeping it charming, current and, most importantly, authentic.
During the periods of lockdown, Omagh Craft Collective played their part in generating some positivity in the community with their eye-catching window displays.
On any given day, the first thing you will experience when you walk into the store is a blindingly bright smile, followed by a chirpy and endearing greeting.
This is Sive.
She happens to be a customer who fell so profoundly in love with the charm of the store, she ended up securing a job there.
Sive said, “It’s difficult when you move to a new place, but to come into my favourite little place in the whole of Omagh and be working is just… it’s really a gift, I feel very lucky and blessed.”
Sive eloquently described the ambience of the store, saying, “Everybody just leaves in a better mood than when they come in. I’ve had people tell me it’s like therapy!
“I think it’s important to be surrounded by creativity, it’s important to recognise there is still beauty in the world and that people are still making beautiful and creative things.”
The Craft Collective also offers work experience opportunities for students and has a space open for young entrepreneurs – offering invaluable guidance on ‘how to run a business’.
If you find that you are always in a rush, always caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and rarely embracing creativity, then you need a visit to the Craft Collective.
The atmosphere in the store is truly therapeutic and to reiterate Sive – everybody needs a bit of creativity in their lives.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere
SUBSCRIBE TO CURRENT EDITION TODAYand get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
(CLICK ON THE TITLE BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE)