The New Craftsmen showcases a carefully curated selection of British craft that is fresh, modern, and timely. The assortment draws on the heritage of British makers combined with the ingenuity of younger artists creating a unique mix that is traditional and contemporary. Founded in 2012 as a pop up concept The New Craftsmen has been in its current location, an arts and crafts workshop dating from 1893, for the past two years. There are over 100 makers represented across a variety of material and disciplines that include wood, clay, glass, cotton, wool, and metal. The Brodgar Chair by Gareth Neal and Kevin Gauld, and gold-plated scissors by Ernest Wright & Sons are two of the products synonymous with brand. Customers are those who have a love of beautiful, unique pieces made with passion and soul.
Natalie Melton, Mark Henderson, and Catherine Lock co-founded The New Craftsmen. All three possess a passion for craft, and together have created an elevated platform to revitalize and support the craft industry in Britain, and share the stories of the objects and their makers. They travel throughout the British Isles meeting makers and visiting workshops to source products that complement their assortment. They share responsibilities, Mark’s expertise is managing luxury craft businesses, Catherine’s background is in product development, and Natalie formerly worked in marketing, communications and event management. For the next few years they would like to grow the business so they can increase the number of makers they represent, and expand their presence in International markets.
Natalie on the Future of Retail
“I think people are reverting back to appreciating the knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication of independent retailers – and are making the time to seek these out and make more considered purchases. Online is increasingly important – but for us it’s also a way to tell the stories of the makers and their objects and bring a richness to the shopping experience even when geography precludes from visiting the space itself.
The cost of rent and rates for independent retailers is obviously a massive issue in a city like London – so its hard to survive on bricks and mortar retail alone – but a city without independent retailers would be very sad indeed – so we all need to make a commitment to celebrating and supporting a diverse independent retail sector.”
34 North Row, London
Photos: Gareth Haker