In our first of a series of features on our Pinty Plus stockisrts, we meet Charley who runs the Petersfield Gift Shop. She tells us how her love of crafting inspired her to change career and how her shop once inspired someone to ask a life changing question!

How long has your shop been open and what inspired you start it?

My shop has been open for 3 and a half years. I started crafting as a way to relax and enjoyed it so much I soon moved on to selling my various makes. After a year of lugging everything around to craft fairs I decided I would much rather be based in one place.. I contacted other local crafters and artists that I had met at fairs and invited them to stock their items with me too, which then gave me the financial means with which to start the shop.

 What did you do before opening your shop?

I was a teacher for 10 years and then a Headteacher for 10 years, so a bit of a change!

What is the local area like and what other businesses do you have near by?

I had my first shop in Petersfield for 18 months and then needed to expand to something bigger, so have now been in my current shop for nearly 2 years. It’s in The Folly Market, a historic Petersfield building, with other small local businesses – a cafe, ice-cream parlour, antiques and gifts shops.

Petersfield is a historic, traditional market town, with a real sense of community. Residents and visitors really do appreciate the independent shops and actively support them. I’ve met some wonderful and inspirational people since being here and can’t ever imagine moving anywhere else now.

What kind of things does your shop sell?

We sell upcycled furniture and chalk paint – obvioulsy! Plus many other handmade craft items, all made by local crafters – such as bags, candles, wooden gifts, jewellery, locally made tea and coffee, art work, cards and so much more. I currently have 40 local crafters who stock with me. Many items are one-off originals, so the stock is constantly changing.

Who can we expect to meet if we pop in?

The Gift Boutique is just me – Charley! Although you will often meet Tigger – who is known as The Folly Cat, as he often likes to be my assistant behind the till!

tigger the folly cat from the folly market in Petersfield

What’s the strangest or most memorable thing that has happened in your shop?

Someone once proposed to someone in the shop whilst they were looking at wedding items! That was really lovely!

Which social media channel do you enjoy using most or find you have most success with for the business?

I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, but it’s Facebook that tends to get the best response.

What’s your favourite thing for sale in the shop right now? (other than our paint!)

That’s is soooo tricky to answer as there is just so much to choose from! The natural wood items are always favourites of mine, although I have some new art work in that is simple, but really effective. But if I can’t choose the paint – then I guess my overall favourite items at the moment would have to be a wicker drawer unit I have just painted with Pinty Plus Chalk Paint!

You can find Charley and her business at…

The Gift Boutique, 3-4 Folly Market, College Street, Petersfield GU31 4AD

And on Facebook at The Gift Boutique