A NEW high street shop in Builth Wells has quickly become a bustling and popular social hub for artists and crafters.

The Corner Collective is aptly located at No37 High Street, on the corner of where the town centre meets Strand Street.

It was opened two months ago by willow weaver Nic Luxton, but has become a home for a plethora of creative types, selling everything from jewellery to baskets, découpage, crochet, knitting, fused glass, home décor and carved spoons.

Nic and her entourage of artists have certainly carved out some early success, after the iconic shop had been left empty and a little neglected following the closure of Magpie’s in March.

County Times:  Inside The Corner Collective, which is home to an array of products made by local artists. Inside The Corner Collective, which is home to an array of products made by local artists. (Image: Matt Jones)

At first it looked like a shoe store was going to take over, then an electric appliance shop. Ultimately, both fell by the wayside, until the Corner Collective injected a bit of colour into the town.

“When we opened on August 10 we had 10 artists and makers, we’re now up to 27,” said Nic, from Doldowlod, near Rhayader. “And the range of makers and ages is so vast.”

She is from a family of foresters and her speciality is willow weaving. The Corner Collective is home to a range of products from a vast array of different crafters, all of whom, mainly, are local.

“Most of our makers are from just a few miles away,” said Nic, who also has a spacious room at the back where she plans to host workshops by her various crafters.

“We’ve got people from Builth, Rhayader, Newbridge-on-Wye, Llanwrthwl, Doldowlod, the Elan Valley and Nant Glas.

“There’s a studio out the back where we can host workshops. For me the whole point of the shop is so I can have that out the back. The people supplying the shop will then come and do a workshop for free.

“We’ve got a quilling workshop coming up, there’s also basket making, spoon carving, jewellery making, découpage, crochet, knitting, lampshades, and a recycling/upcycling artist. I hope to get regular clubs coming in.

County Times: Powys County Times readers can subscribe for just £5 for 5 months

“We already have a willow carving club in on a Wednesday and I’m hoping to get a spoon carving club every week.

“We can use the workshop for people who might not be able to fill a huge hall, but they can fill this space here, where five or six people can take part.

“We’re creating a social hub, which is lovely. There is a wealth of knowledge in all of the people’s hands, so it will be nice to pass it on in the back room.

“As word spreads, more crafters are approaching me, so next week or next month there could be something totally different inside the shop.”

There are clothes on sale too, from Nifty and Co, with space and plans to add more.

With Wales still navigating its way through a cost-of-living crisis, some may have doubted the idea of setting up shop, but Nic wanted to shine a light on the talents of local artists.

County Times: l

“They pay me a set rate so they can then make a proper profit and a living out of what they make,” she added.

“I get to sell things that are fantastic and made locally, at really good prices. There’s no commission on top, which some people may think is suicidal for a business.

“But, what I want to happen is to push the local heritage and hand crafts.”

Having previously operated from a cold workshop in Doldowlod, Nic knew she needed a warm space from which to weave her willow. Even though, coming from a family of foresters, a change of habitat was difficult to get used to.

“Coming into a shop behind glass is a big change,” she admitted. “I’ve got no trees around me, which is weird.”

Her trees have been replaced by her artists, but Nic, and her fellow makers, are adjusting to their new surroundings nicely.