“I want people to touch things, to pick things up, to try things on”.
So says the owner of the latest independent business to take up residence in King Street, where the shop frontages are currently enjoying a bit of a renaissance.
Henry Davenport, 25, has come up with a novel way of selling art and craft at his new shop Fruits of the Lune, which stocks art, art, photography, jewellery, glassware, stonework, clothing, bags and accessories - all made by local craftspeople. The shop opened on Saturday.
Henry, who grew up in Skerton and went to Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale, said that his attendance at the school was where a lot of his inspiration came from.
He said: “I’m excited, and there’s trepidation, but the other business around here in King Street have been really supportive.”
After attending Manchester University, Henry returned to the city to work at Lancaster University for an internet marketing company which helped local businesses promote their own websites. He then did a stint at InTraining at Telephone House in Fenton Street.
He said: “In my spare time I was helping people out at craft fairs, but I noticed people were becoming frustrated with them because you’re not always guaranteed a sale.
“It doesn’t cost anything to sell your things here, and commission is based on a sale.
“The artists can spend their time doing the things they enjoy while I take care of the sales and marketing.
“The benefit of having the shop front is that there will be new things each time someone comes in, there’s a lot more communication and it’s a lot more tactile, but we’ll have a strong online presence as well. I want people to touch things, to pick things up, to try things on.”
Henry said that Lancaster, Morecambe Bay and The Lune Valley had a huge number of talented artists and craftspeople.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of good stuff going on but we need to shout about it like the Lake District does.
“I’ll be on hand in the shop six days a week to talk to people and explain where things come from and who has made them.”
Henry is welcoming artists to get in touch.