HenshawsGifts online shop open for business

Over 150 Art Makers access creative workshops at our Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, where they discover their talents, put them into practice and realise their full potential. Our inspiring Art Makers are all people living with disability who create amazing handmade items including: jewellery, lino printed bags, greetings cards, artwork and much more.

Etsy workshop teaches new skills

These unique items are bought by visitors to our Centre and proceeds from the sales all go to support the amazing work we do helping disabled people go beyond expectations.

Earlier this year HenshawsGifts was launched via the Etsy e-commerce marketplace enabling us to showcase and sell these special handmade pieces to a wide international audience.

A small group of Art Makers run HenshawsGifts via a weekly vocational workshop where they can learn and develop new work-based skills relevant to online retailing, including photography, basic IT, language and communication, and packaging.

Adding new products to HenshawsGifts

Zoë Nicholson, the Etsy Workshop leader, explains: “There are many steps involved in getting a finished item ready for selling on HenshawsGifts.  We have to research and set a suitable price, take a good photo, edit and upload the photo, write an engaging description and add Etsy “tags” so people can find the item in an online search and also work out our post and packaging costs which need to be included.”

At a recent session, Art Maker Becky was at the computer writing descriptions for some of the new handmade gifts that were waiting to be uploaded to the shop site.

I like using the computer, and setting up and taking photos. But I like all of the things I do in the Etsy workshop. Its brilliant!"

Becky, Art Maker in Etsy workshop

Art Maker Dolly has a visual impairment and enjoys working with steel as it is shiny and easier for her to see. The steel nut and wire bracelets she designs and makes in the jewellery workshop are already selling well on HenshawsGifts.

Once an order is received the Etsy team process it, packaging the item in “Henshaws  pink” paper and sending it out with a handmade thank you note, and occasionally a bonus gift too.  Once safely wrapped it is posted out to the buyer who will hopefully be pleased with their purchase.

Neil Gabriel  is a regular volunteer at the Arts & Crafts centre.  “There is a real benefit of being able to bring the Art Makers together by selling products made in other workshops.  It really encourages all of our Art Makers to go even further beyond expectations.”

“The reaction when an Art Maker hears one of their pieces has been sold is great.  It helps make them feel good about what they are doing and adds a real purpose to what they are doing.”

Christmas Gift Ideas

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We can't do it without you

Henshaws rely on voluntary donations; our work just wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Your support empowers local people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to increase their independence, achieve their dreams, and go beyond expectations.

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