New independent arts shop launches in Shoreham high street

Owners Gary Martin and Emma Criddle at the Neighbourhood Store in Shoreham High Street
Owners Gary Martin and Emma Criddle at the Neighbourhood Store in Shoreham High Street

A couple have said launching a new arts consignment store in Shoreham is a dream come true.

Neighbourhood Store, which opens in Shoreham High Street tomorrow (Saturday, November 3), is the brainchild of Emma Criddle and Gary Martin.

The independent, family-run business will offer a roof for local artists, creators and designers to sell their wares.

Emma said: “The main point is to act as a stepping stone to these amazing creative people.

“What happens a lot of the time is that people create these things and find it hard to sell their items.

“We are kind of acting as their support, help them build up their confidence to maybe take it further.”

Opening the store was a natural step for Gary, who runs an art and vintage courier company, and Emma, who has always also dabbled in selling vintage clothes and spent the last three years working at the SOLD charity shop, where she contributed to their stunning window displays.

“It’s always been the dream to walk across the footbridge and straight into our own shop,” said Emma, who has lived in Shoreham for five years after moving from Brighton.

“Shoreham’s so up and coming, it’s about to go off. I think it’s the perfect timing to open.”

The couple’s eight-year-old daughters, Ivy Marshall and Bella Tozer-Martin, have also been involved with the shop and came up with the idea for Neighbourhood Kids – a project through which young entrepreneurs in the town will have the opportunity to sell something they have created in the shop.

The store’s stock of art, clothes and music will change every 60 days so that as many people as possible have the chance to display their goods.

Emma said they were being very strict in ensuring that everything at the shop is created or sourced by local sellers.

Conscious of reducing the use of plastic, she added that the shop will not give out bags and will be promoting a bottle refill scheme.

“It’s a really important part of the shop. We want to support the area and be a community hub,” she said.

“We have had such an amazing uptake already,”

The vacant unit in Shoreham High Street was temporarily used by artist duo The Artful Bodgers who held a pop-up digital art gallery at the site.

Neighbourhood Store’s launch day on Saturday will begin with a five kilometre run at 10am starting from the shop, organised by one of the sellers who rescues and repurposes old running clothes.

A noon, a Brighton band called the Self Help Group will perform.

A graffiti artist will be spray painting a cabinet in the street in a live art show at 1pm before DJ Ilson and Evil Tom from Evil 9 will both play DJ sets for the rest of the day.

Emma said residents had already responded positively to the high street’s new addition.

“The community have been overwhelmingly supportive,” she said.

“We’ve had a great welcome and we haven’t even opened the doors yet.”

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