Maple Photos - Not on the High Street!

05th August 2016
For seven weeks in June and July we had the pleasure of a short term tenancy in The Old Arcade in Bedford. Kay walked into the empty ‘Kitchenalia’ shop and immediately thought ‘Gallery!’ as the space was so light, large and open, with big white walls, so set about inviting some photographers and artists to display their work.

The shop was divided into two halves – the back space being a large open gallery, displaying work from Inspired Light Images (Kay’s photography teaching world) photography students; Ray Cheng, now a very exciting emerging fashion, wedding and lifestyle photographer and Nadine Grummitt who keeps visiting Iceland and coming back with some absolute stunners!! We gave Nad the back wall as a thank you for all the support she has shown ILI over the past few years and she sold prints as a result!

Will Barton (the other half of Inspired Light Images) had a panoramic canvas and some gorgeous framed Giclee prints on sale. Steve Collett made up the fourth spot with his beautiful, animal inspired, watercolour and pencil pieces.

For the final week we put on a mini exhibition showing work from Kay’s former City & Guilds students who presented a range of retrospective and recent images with the entry money raised from this being donated to St John’s Sue Ryder Hospice in Moggerhanger.

The front half of the shop was filled with Maple Photos images and gift products. On the walls were examples of our large format chromo-aluminium panels showing some of Kay’s aircraft images, large format art canvases printed with Bill’s aircraft images and smaller wood and chromo-aluminium panels printed with Kay’s images of Bedford Embankment. The window display was carefully put together with the help of Kay’s daughter, Lauren, and really showed our printed range off well, with the large format aircraft images catching the attention of many a passer-by.

The gifts ranged from mugs, coasters and placemats (our most popular item!), glass coasters, trivets and worktop savers to our new line in print-to-sew bespoke woven cushions. There were some fun metal plaques for shed doors and plenty of choice for all.

We met lovely people during our stay there and were asked to print some interesting new products, including fleece blankets – they are being added to our stock now!

We would like to thank Bedford Town for it's positive feedback and enthusiastic reception and we hope the folks there enjoyed having a gallery to wander round for the time we stayed. Molly the collie was Kay's constant companion throughout and enjoyed the cuddles she had from customers.

We know that seeing is believing and the feedback has really convinced us to do this more often! So we will be taking the ‘shop’ to fairs and events in 2017 and will let you know where and when!