Shropshire girl opens new retail enterprise bringing collectively artists and craftspeople

Sam Preston

A Shropshire woman bucked the trend by opening a new retail store bringing together talented artists and artisans from across the county.

Sam Preston

Sam Preston launched Canvas and Clay at Ellesmere, a shop that showcases original work by local people, as well as gifts, housewares and greeting cards with a ‘Shropshire meets Scandi’ feel.

Sam used to be a high-flying marketing executive with leading airlines and decided to take the plunge and start her own business after completing an online new business step-up program operated by Bridgnorth management consultancy Good2Great becomes.

“I hope Canvas and Clay is a great addition to the retail offering in the beautiful town of Ellesmere,” said Sam.

“I work with local artists to sell original paintings, prints, ceramic and wood turned pieces, and other hand-picked products from across the UK and Europe.

“This is an opportunity for the local community to gain access to a wide range of local artistic talent, and for tourists to shop for unusual gifts, affordable art and a reminder of their time in Ellesmere.

“I’m chasing a dream after being laid off for Covid and now I have a better work-life balance with my young son. I have only been trading for a few weeks and it has been wonderful, I’ve already received an amazing response.

“The support from Good2Great gave me the tools and confidence to build the business successfully. The program led me to meet like-minded people – something that was vital during the Covid lockdown when the normal network channels were not available.

“I also benefited from having my own dedicated consultant at Sally Themans, who deals with retail and high street promotion through Love Bridgnorth and Love Wellington, was a brilliant sounding board for me when I signed up as part of Ellesmere retail settled scene, ”said Sam.

The Step Up Business program is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and administered by Telford & Wrekin Council on behalf of partner Shropshire Council.