Shaftesbury Mums Plan Child-Free Christmas Craft And Pampering Party

Christmas can be chaotic, especially if you have kids. That’s why two Shaftesbury mums are arranging an event where women can relax, buy unique stocking fillers and become inspired by some of our town’s most creative craftspeople.

Keri Jones from ThisIsAlfred.com met the two women who hope to offer regular mum’s events, if this pre-Christmas party proves popular.

Lucy Fosh and Emily Laycock are hosting the Xmas Girls’ Night Out at Angola 76 on Saturday 1st December. “It is an evening event for local ladies, mums and anybody who fancies a night with the girls. You will be able to enjoy pampering, shopping, cocktails and fun,” said Lucy.

Emily Laycock (left) and Lucy Fosh outside Angola 76

Lucy and Emily both run their own businesses and the women want to showcase the range of craft items produced by Shaftesbury’s ‘mumpreneurs’, who get creative to supplement their income. “There are lots small businesses making things and we thought it would be good fun to bring them together to celebrate local crafts,” said Emily.

“It’s becoming more popular to do something on the side,” Lucy added. “As much as we love our children, it’s quite nice to have a venture for yourself, something for you. Shaftesbury is hugely creative and it is so inspiring. Just speaking to a few mums at school, the amount of things that people are doing in this area is incredible.”

Ten local women have booked tables that will be used to display and sell their own craft items during the evening. And both organisers will be showcasing their craftwork, which they sell through the website Etsy.

Emily creates jewellery from volcanic rock, which soaks up and slowly releases fragrances from essential oils. “I have necklaces, bracelets and even some car air fresheners you can hang over the rear view mirror. You can pick your favourite scent and enjoy the diffuser jewellery,” she said.

So is there an essential oil that makes you feel like partying? “I have a blend called ‘Walking On Sunshine’ which is quite energising and good fun. And I have a new one called ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ which is quite empowering. I have got some invigorating blends for sure,” Emily said.

Lucy has found success through selling pre-loved and vintage clothing. She has started making earrings recently. Lucy’s jewellery will be on offer along with the work of the other women offering present ideas. “We have a mixture of people selling handmade products and there will be eco-friendly gifts and goods which are natural. There will be Neal’s Yard products, too,” said Emily.

It won’t all be work, though. The stallholders won’t be behind their tables all evening. They will be encouraged to let their hair down and mingle with the mums, or encourage them to get creative too. “We’ve also got a big craft table so you can create your own crafts to take home. We’re going to do that for the charity Mind. We’re all doing ‘crafternoons’ on the 1st December. I wanted to do this because craft is a strong part of my heart,” Lucy explained, adding that she suffered from postnatal depression for a year, following the birth of her second child. “Being creative is like therapy for me,” she said.

This social side of the event is as important as the shopping. Both organisers hope that local women will forge new friendships during the evening. “It’s for mums who don’t get the opportunity to go out that often. We all need to treat ourselves a bit, especially at Christmas, because mums do a lot of the hard work,” said Emily. “It’s good to do something together with your friends that isn’t going out clubbing or for a meal. It’s doing something different.”

“It is an opportunity to get out and meet people,” she said. “Normally you go to Christmas fairs, which are daytime events and family-friendly. This event will be on a Saturday night. Some people will have finished work on the High Street and will want to come out and have a drink. There will be special drinks promotions and a live DJ, so it might get quite lively! They’re going late night Christmas shopping with a glass of Prosecco and hopefully a giggle.”

There’ll be a pampering area, too. “You can come and enjoy having your nails done or have a mini makeover and facial. It’ll be an extra charge but there won’t be children around so it will be a nice environment to do it in.”

Lisa hopes that the evening will go well because the owners of Angola 76 have offered their venue for future events. Organised get-togethers could be good for the craftspeople attending, too. “I’m starting to think about the potential for Mothers’ Day and perhaps we could do an Easter thing,” said Emily.

The Xmas Girls Night Out is on at Angola 76 between 6pm and 10pm on Saturday 1st December. “There’s no door entry. You can just come along, grab a drink, mingle and have a good time,” says Emily.