Get Crafty With Village Ceramics
Charlotte Harris talks arts, crafts, community spirit – and explains why her business means so much
Village Ceramics was born in July 1997 when I was just 17 years old and had just ﬁnished my A-Level exams, it was a steep learning curve. My late Grandad Phil helped me ﬁnancially get off the ground and my parents have played a huge ﬁnancial and emotional part in the business and my life, whilst my two younger sisters have also worked and helped me grow Village Ceramics.
Now in its 22nd year my husband Jay is now helping me grow, develop and improve the business and has helped me juggle 3 children and a crazy black lab “Buddy”. Our oldest daughter Chloe helps on the weekends and during the school holidays and has spent so much of her life in the studio.
Village Ceramics is a painting studio based in Cheam Village open 7 days a week for all ages and abilities to come along and paint their own masterpieces with a café inside serving hot and cold drinks and delicious cookies raising money for 6 charities. We have a potters wheel for a messy 1 to 1 session and offer 6 different birthday party options, with our slime making parties being extremely popular.
We also offer an adult only painting evening each week where you can bring along alcohol and we organise pizza express delivery for you all. The studio can be privately hired for a fun mums night out, hen parties and baby showers. We have a mobile studio service where we come to your group or venue, visiting brownies and cub groups is a monthly event and we enjoy offering art therapy to mencap groups and carehomes as it really is such a relaxing activity.
We also specialise in babies and childrens and even whole family hand and footprint keepsakes on ceramics, into clay, 3D casts, and silver ﬁngerprint jewellery. We also offer Mucky Pups sessions for under 4’s making their ﬁ rst art experiences a fun, stress free environment for the child and parents who can just have a creative time and leave the mess behind.
During the school holidays we offer Arty Crafty and Creative day camps for children who come for breakfast, lunch and dinner and make and create loads of arts and crafts which keep them happy and occupied while you work. We also have slime making camps and chocolate making workshops and are always introducing new activities. This year we will be introducing “build a buddy” parties and camps but as usual it’s very hard to ﬁ nd time to plan and organise new activities as they have to be right. I am a bit of a perfectionist and the business is like my baby as I have watched it grow, develop, change and improve so much – I really don’t know where 22 years have gone!
Most recently I have become a qualiﬁed balloon artist and introduced a new business within the studio “Bibbidi Bobbidi Balloons” offering balloons for all occasions and also balloon décor so we go out to venues and create big balloon displays for proms and weddings and birthday parties all over Surrey and Kent. I have a concession at The Kent Wedding Centre in Paddock Wood and recently exhibited at Bluewaters Wedding Fayre so it is lovely to do something new and get your teeth into it, especially as balloons are really on trend and can totally change and brighten up a venue. My husband also is now a fully qualiﬁed mobile and tablet repair technician and offers this within the studio.
We are extremely fortunate to be based in such a lovely Village which has so much to offer. We try our best to support local schools and charity events and enjoy giving back to the local community. My dad luckily found our premises and for this I will be forever grateful as I truly believe location is extremely important for a business. We try our very best to make the environment within the studio a fun, enjoyable place to visit and a space that customers keep on coming back to for more as it is addictive, especially as life is at such a fast pace its good to stop sometimes and have a sit down and enjoy some quality time together as a family and with friends.
“We are extremely fortunate to be based in such a lovely Village which has so much to offer, we try our best to support local schools and charity events and enjoy giving back to the local community”
31 Station Way
020 8661 7837