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Inspirations: gorgeous handmade gifts


Small zippered bags, £9, Mayview Crafts

I came across a gift shop in Dorking recently and I wanted to tell you about it. Not just because it’s stocked with gorgeous handcrafted goodies, although that is true, but because the shop is called Inspirations, and it’s staffed and run by a group of people who really are inspirational.

I popped in to say hi, thinking I’d be 30 minutes or so, after a quick chat and a look around. But I got lost in the time, and it’s just as well I’d arranged for Grandma to pick up the mudlets from school… or I’d have been in big trouble. I was gone hours! But I came away feeling like the world was a wonderful place. And that’s a great thing in my book.


Fabric shoppers, £11, Mayview Crafts

The shop is run by two Sues – Sue Lee, who I met on the Thursday I stopped by, and Sue Skilton – and they’re helped by clients of The Grange near Leatherhead. The Grange is an organisation that supports people with disabilities. It’s both a residential centre and day centre. There’s lots going on at The Grange, including craft, woodwork and cooking, some of which is for sale at Inspirations.


Autumnal trees, Claire Medhurst (Duck Egg Blue Design Company), £28

Sue told me the residents and clients at The Grange make jams and preserves with produce that’s grown in their own walled garden. In the woodworking centre, they build bird, bug and bat boxes and bird tables for the garden. At Inspirations, and indeed while I was there, handmade cards were being crafted and beautifully packaged up for sale, by Jamie and Mandy, both day clients. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Jamie, who makes a mean cup of tea, says he loves meeting the customers and helping with their purchases.  Mandy, who impressively met HM the Queen a few years back, quite likes dealing with the money. I like the girl’s style!


Small carved wooden birds, Julie Latham. Indian runner duck (left) £12.50, robin £15

As well as stocking produce and crafts handmade at The Grange, Inspirations is also an outlet for local artists and craftspeople. Sue says they’re not motivated by profit, but rather by the opportunities it gives The Grange’s clients. As a result, price points are incredibly good. What a wonderful place. And check out the gorgeous things they have for sale.


Silk flowers brooches, £7, Julie Latham

Inspirations, 4 Lyon’s Court, Dorking, RH4 1AB. Tel: 01306 885081.
Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs 9.30am – 3.30pm; Tues 1.30-3.30pm; Fri 9.30am-3pm.
Facebook: Inspirations, Twitter:



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2 comments on “Inspirations: gorgeous handmade gifts”

  • Shirlee Posner (Eat Surrey) April 13, 2016

    Really good to see this here! we should meet sometimes and share notes!

    • amberevans April 13, 2016

      Hi Shirley, that sounds fab. xx


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