This April, independent business Happy & Glorious hosted a special Bloggers’ Day to celebrate the latest activity and vibrancy of Park Mall Shopping Centre in Ashford.
Since joining the independent-led centre in December 2015 and transitioning from an online retail business to her own bricks and mortar shop, Kate Tompsett of Happy & Glorious decided it was time to shout about the progress she could see happening within the regenerated Park Mall.
Kate reached out to like-minded creative, social-media savvy bloggers from the outskirts of Ashford, to take witness to the exciting changes and businesses on offer on Ashford’s growing high street.
"We really wanted to bring a fresh new audience to the centre & help them to discover that Ashford is a town on the up!"
The independent shops in the centre, including Emporia Fabric & Craft, Glam R Us Accessories, Happy & Glorious, Made In Ashford and the independently run charity The Creative Collective: Gallery & Studios, welcomed the bloggers with their own goodie-bags and exclusive offers to thank them for taking part in the special day.
The bloggers that attended had great things to say about the centre and have been sharing their experiences on Facebook and Twitter.
Despite living in the Weald of Kent, just 15 minutes away, Lydia of Polly had a Dolly had never had the chance to visit Ashford’s high street before.
After visiting Park Mall, Lydia took a particular liking to the Made In Ashford shop, describing it as,
"A little treasure trove of exquisite crafts - such a high standard and so much variety."
Alix of The Little Red Hen Jewellery had showcased her products in Made In Ashford previously and was excited by the opportunities that were available to small businesses like her own.
"As a designer-maker myself, it's so encouraging to see a town regeneration project that encourages small, independent businesses."
Proud to be a current member of the Made In Ashford family, Nicola of Nicola Jennings Art had some wonderful things to say about Emporia Fabric & Craft. Stating,
"I admire the wonderful window displays in Emporia ... their store is always full of bright fabrics, perfect for any project."
When speaking about her current involvements in the Ashford high street, selling her beautiful hand-made designs, Nicola went on to say:
"I am very proud of Ashford, more and more people are opening stores. I feel so lucky to be a part of a wonderful community."
Lotte is a partial resident of Park Mall and is aware of the regeneration projects that are happening around the centre. As she’s always busy working away in Emporia Fabric & Craft, Lotte took the day as an opportunity to catch up with the other independent traders and take a look at the products on offer. After visiting Happy & Glorious, Lotte said,
"My heart was captured on bloggers day by the delightful range of succulent plants."
Described as the perfect gift, these small potted plants are the ultimate unique find when browsing the shops for something new. Happy & Glorious is full of wonderful item like these, all sourced and made in Britain.
Kate later explained that bloggers visited the centre throughout the day, interviewing retailers and taking photographs. You can read each full feature by clicking on the bloggers below and don’t forget to check back for more updates from other bloggers.
If you’re a business based on Ashford’s high street and looking to be featured in a blog, get in contact with us on Twitter using the hashtag #loveashford.