Party supplies shop reopens as local art emporium following impact of Covid-19
- Credit: Archant
A fancy dress and party supply shop are reopening as a local arts emporium following the disastrous effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Uptown Fun in Upwell had their business taken away overnight when the government put an end to all group celebrations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Owners Lee and Oona Robinson decided that instead of shutting-up shop for good, they would offer shelf space to creative people in the area.
The idea, which has received great local feedback, will allow artists to sell their hand-made goods or work from December 3 at the Town Street shop.
Mr and Mrs Robinson, who already have three staff on furlough, said: “It has been a disaster for the party industry that we have been in for 16 years and is our primary source of trade.
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“Rather than having our shelves gathering dust, with supplies for parties that are simply not happening, or worse still, closing our doors permanently like lots of other businesses, we researched what the local community would like to see.
“The feedback was brilliant and the community has, as always, been incredibly supportive and provided loads of fantastic suggestions.
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“By far the most popular request was for us to increase space for independent retailers, artists and crafts people to showcase their products.”
The Uptown Fun Emporium has seen the shop reconfigured to offer a wide range of products for the home and garden and most are produced by local talent.
Uptown Fun opened in the premises initially in 2018, when the couple moved to the village from Essex.
The business started originally after Mr and Mrs Robinson married abroad but wanted a special, themed party when they returned to the UK for their family and friends.
Mr Robinson was made redundant and they created Partypackage Ltd which allows people to buy everything for their celebration in one place.
Aside from shelf-space, the couple are also offering help with ecommerce for those who are not confident with online selling.
“We have decades of experience in retailing online and we are able to provide an ecommerce outlet or, for those with more experience, we can help with a website, social media sales and provide help and support,” the couple added.
Uptown Fun Emporium will still sell party goods alongside the online side of the business and it will be home for local craftspeople who can find customers both in person, when allowed, and online.
The shop will offer everything from handmade bags and artworks to jewellery, Christmas decorations, plants and dog leads.
If any crafts person or artist would like to learn more, or is interested in a bay or shelf space at the shop, contact Mr and Mrs Robinson on 01945 772777 or via www.partypackage.co.uk