Market forces: crafty shopping in Godalming

Round & About

Two creative Godalming locals have set up a local market to showcase local craftspeople and help make your Christmas shopping fun!

Danielle Giornandi and Laura Goddings wanted to bring something to Godalming that would reinvigorate the high street and give something fellow locals could get excited about.

Coming from backgrounds in humanitarianism, art history, jewellery design, event design and management, and sales they realised they had the right skill set for this kind of venture to be successful.

Danielle says: “One day over coffee, Laura said ‘hey, that old little shed is up for rent, shall we see it?’ ‘Yes!’ I said, though we had no idea what we were looking at or why. The moment we went in, the space just spoke to us and we both spontaneously had the same idea – to have a kind of brick-and-mortar Etsy, permanent contemporary craft fair promoting independent artists and creatives. Throwing caution to the wind, we put in a bid…and we got it!”

The pair’s idea has grown into an amazing venture with more than 40 artists, almost all local, renting a little space, specifically sized and designed for them and their type of products.

“We’re excited to provide Surrey residents with high-quality, unique, handmade goods created by independent artisans and producers,” adds Laura. “In an age when the high streets are dominated by chains and mass-produced products, we pride ourselves on representing and working for  both the artists and the consumers. With the rise of online shopping, our high streets have taken a huge hit. We want to re-establish the relationship between consumer and producer, as well as reigniting that tactile and sensory experience a shopper has when they find a product in a shop – something that cannot be reproduced online.”

More than 150 people attended the opening party in October. “Everyone that’s come through the doors has been so surprised and pleased that something exciting like this has come to Godalming. We look forward to a successful Christmas shopping period, highlighted by events such as the Godalming Christmas Lights Festival and Late Night Shopping Evenings with Prosecco. We are determined to make Yard Market more than just a shop, but an exciting and vibrant community creative space.”