Local makers across Swindon now have a place to sell their wares after the launch of a new market at the Hop Inn.

Lisa Lowe set up the monthly Shop Small Swindon in a bid to help promote businesses and their work.

“There’s so many fantastic makers and they’ve got nowhere to sell their things. We have to travel far and wide.

"Ours is something local and good for the community,” said Lisa, who owns Ooh Lovely Lilo Ceramics.

She was helped by Dona Bradley, who did all the artwork, posters, flyers and banners.

They first tried to set the market up a couple of years ago but due to Covid they were forced to postpone it.

“We wanted to get it back up and running,” Lisa said. “All the makers are from the Swindon area and we wanted to make that ‘shop local, shop small’ and bring something back to the town.”

She was pleased to see how many people attended the first event last Sunday.

“We did a lot of preparation. We did a lot of communication on social media. It’s really hard to predict whether the public will turn up,” she said.

“Just a big thank you to everyone who’s come along.”

Lisa, who used to work in IT, is now making ceramics and was selling her work at the market.

“In 2019, I decided I wanted to make ceramics for a living. Covid stopped all that, so that was a tough time for everybody.

"I do a little workshop in my garden, I do lessons. It’s a complete change of lifestyle for me,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to do something creative and it just seemed like a good time to just change it around.”

A total of 20 makers attended the inaugural market.

Jen Covey, owner of The Cove, was selling her faux floral hoops.

She said: “We’re excited to be part of something new. I made Christmas ones for family and friends, and then people just wanted more, and then I just sort of set it up.”

The Adver went along to the first market, and spoke to shoppers.

Aline Coutts, from north Swindon said: “There’s nothing like it in Swindon. Talking to the makers, most of them seem to be really local, they’re just fantastic.”

Helen George said: “I’ve got a pendant and cards. I’m glad to support it.” The next market is on November 21.