OUR JOURNEY

WHO WE ARE, HOW WE CAME TO BE & OUR PHILOSOPHY

WELCOME TO CRAFTMONGERS...

If you are new here let me introduce us. We are based in the Devon town of Ashburton on the flanks of Dartmoor and within distant sight of the sea.

We support nearly fifty local and international makers and artists.

My name is Toby Strong, I’ve spent the last 25 years travelling the world as a wildlife and documentary cameraman.

As I traveled I met many extraordinary makers and Crafts people. From potters in Niger to basket weavers in Papua New Guinea to a scientist in Antarctica who made exquisite cloth whales and penguins from clothing scraps.

The idea of a shop to gather all this magic was always bubbling away and the opportunity finally presented itself in Devon.

It is the perfect place. Surrounded by such talent and skill and integrity.

We are still new and have been only open two years … and not the easiest of times to start a business, yet the support from our community and from visitors has been breathtaking.

Jodi has been with Craftmongers from the start managing the shop and bringing her wonder and art. Her passion and knowledge of flower meadows, plants and nature bring such depth to us. She guides our ship with a gentle, subtle touch. Lauren joined the family with her own flare and wonderful photography, her love and drive is amazing, she brings an incredible energy and creativity to the family.

Ori is the newest member of the gang. We already love her very much and we are excited to see what threads of her creativity she will weave in.

This year we have started our workshops, something we wish to continue and expand. We feel so strongly that we need to sit in a community and create with our hands. As humans we have done this for thousands of years and we must refind it, to reconnect to ourselves and our neighbours.

At Craftmongers We are a community and that is you, every day we are inspired by those who visit us and those who write to us and chat from around the World. We are ever evolving, learning and changing. Please come and visit, or write if you can’t.

As the days start to shorten and supplies are foraged for the winter ahead, let’s ponder something to learn as the evenings lengthen.

Whittle a spoon, make a clay coil pot, read a book again, or even just sketch ..

But let’s celebrate ourselves and our creativity.

Lastly, I want to say thank you for all of your support at this hardest of times.

Without you, we couldn’t be. It’s that simple. And with you we can become something very special, a community of creativity for everyone.

Yours,

Toby

OUR TEAM AT CRAFTMONGERS...

Toby

Toby is a multi award winning Emmy and Bafta natural history and documentary Director of photography.

Over the last two decades his career has taken him to every continent and to most environments. In his travels he has met many incredible makers and artists. He formed relationships in the hope of one day having a shop that supports artists and makers not only local to his Devon home butalso globally with personal connections made.

That dream has been realised with Craftmongers that opening in 2019. His work continues, when not at the shop, taking him around the planet and always returning with more treasure and new makers.

His plans for the future of Craftmongers is similarly local and international in its bold scope in the support of artisans and for themaker in us all.

Jodi

Jodi has been at the heart of the shop since day one, and has loved supporting Toby’s extraordinary vision evolve from a truly beautiful story into a growing and flourishing reality. Their combined love of the natural world is reflected within the very soul of Craftmongers.

Often found ‘between realms’, Jodi has deep roots in Cornwall and divides her time between the far West and Dartmoor. A moorland spirit with an intrinsic love of the wilder places, her art and ambitions reflect this yearning for a wider reunion with nature.

Her inspiration is forged between the arts and sciences. Believing both to be fundamentally essential to one-another. A graduate in Environmental Resource Management, she is passionate about the re-establishment of native wildflower meadows, and traditional farming practices, leading to a continued love and exploration of rural Romania, and the creation of ‘Feral’, her own land management consultancy.

Jodi looks forward to the future of Craftmongers; as the shop begins writing new chapters with the wonderful support of Lauren and Ori.

Lauren

Lauren currently splits her time between doing the best job in the world (working here at Craftmongers… her words!) and doing a degree in Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial at a nearby arts university.

Most of her photographic work is driven by a love of natural beauty, usually using the scenes of our wild countryside with elegant clothing as a muse. She has also done a lot of work capturing various makers, all of whom are apart of our Craftmonger family, in a recent project – most of this can be found in our makers articles.

Although currently residing in Ashburton, she dreams of all her friends and family relocating to the French countryside… don’t we all?

Ori

Ori is of German and Spanish heritage and moved to the United Kingdom to work as an Au-pair and pursue her studies in Art History. She has just received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manchester and hopes to work as a scholar and curator in the future, focusing on feminism, social justice, and ecology.

She loves being a part of the Craftmongers team because advocating for sustainability and local craft tie in with her passion for sustainability, art, and the environment.

The shop reminds her of a magically curated Cabinet of Curiosities, filled to the brim with inspiring objects, including local and global treasures. Aside from planning to enjoy life in Devon for a while, Ori dreams of travelling through Latin America to improve her Spanish and finally see the places that birthed so many of her favourite artists and writers.

OUR TEAM AT CRAFTMONGERS...

Toby

Toby is a multi award winning Emmy and Bafta natural history and documentary Director of photography.

Over the last two decades his career has taken him to every continent and to most environments. In his travels he has met many incredible makers and artists. He formed relationships in the hope of one day having a shop that supports artists and makers not only local to his Devon home butalso globally with personal connections made.

That dream has been realised with Craftmongers that opening in 2019. His work continues, when not at the shop, taking him around the planet and always returning with more treasure and new makers.

His plans for the future of Craftmongers is similarly local and international in its bold scope in the support of artisans and for themaker in us all.

Jodi

Jodi has been at the heart of the shop since day one, and has loved supporting Toby’s extraordinary vision evolve from a truly beautiful story into a growing and flourishing reality. Their combined love of the natural world is reflected within the very soul of Craftmongers.

Often found ‘between realms’, Jodi has deep roots in Cornwall and divides her time between the far West and Dartmoor. A moorland spirit with an intrinsic love of the wilder places, her art and ambitions reflect this yearning for a wider reunion with nature.

Her inspiration is forged between the arts and sciences. Believing both to be fundamentally essential to one-another. A graduate in Environmental Resource Management, she is passionate about the re-establishment of native wildflower meadows, and traditional farming practices, leading to a continued love and exploration of rural Romania, and the creation of ‘Feral’, her own land management consultancy.

Jodi looks forward to the future of Craftmongers; as the shop begins writing new chapters with the wonderful support of Lauren and Ori.

Lauren

Lauren currently splits her time between doing the best job in the world (working here at Craftmongers… her words!) and doing a degree in Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial at a nearby arts university.

Most of her photographic work is driven by a love of natural beauty, usually using the scenes of our wild countryside with elegant clothing as a muse. She has also done a lot of work capturing various makers, all of whom are apart of our Craftmonger family, in a recent project – most of this can be found in our makers articles.

Although currently residing in Ashburton, she dreams of all her friends and family relocating to the French countryside… don’t we all?

Ori

Ori is of German and Spanish heritage and moved to the United Kingdom to work as an Au-pair and pursue her studies in Art History. She has just received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manchester and hopes to work as a scholar and curator in the future, focusing on feminism, social justice, and ecology.

She loves being a part of the Craftmongers team because advocating for sustainability and local craft tie in with her passion for sustainability, art, and the environment.

The shop reminds her of a magically curated Cabinet of Curiosities, filled to the brim with inspiring objects, including local and global treasures. Aside from planning to enjoy life in Devon for a while, Ori dreams of travelling through Latin America to improve her Spanish and finally see the places that birthed so many of her favourite artists and writers.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our Philosophy is simple.

We buy only things we love and desire in our own homes.

We only represent artists and makers we adore and respect ourselves.

Our aim is to engender a passion for our natural world and those who work in harmony with it and work to protect it.

We wish to champion traditional craft and those who are its guardians. We believe creativity is of huge importance and work to promote it in all its facets.

We value gentleness and kindness above all things, apart from cake.

Cake we value more than anything….