FH Stories | Remade Reloved

Folkestone’s businesses have always thrived on creativity, collaboration and community. 2020’s challenges have demonstrated this quite visibly in the ways they have adapted and innovated to keep trading, with notable examples being the new Old High Street website and the Made in Folkestone marketplace, both of which bring local traders together on one digital platform, so they can still reach their customers when their shops have been physically closed.

Now local business owner Marie Bruce, is doing her bit to save the Christmas shopping season for Folkestone and Hythe-based creatives by launching a new digital marketplace for them to sell from.

Marie is the owner of Remade Reloved, a producer and seller of bags and accessories made from second-hand fabrics. Unable to keep her Folkestone-based business running during the first lockdown, when the second lockdown loomed she realised that Christmas was going to look very different for her shop, as well as those around her.

“I had seen a few articles about the impact of the pandemic on small businesses across Kent, and I thought about how I might be able to use my website to help others like me. So that is when I focused my search for people and businesses who might want to sell their goods, and it didn’t take long to find dozens of local sellers who had been impacted by the pandemic and the lack of Christmas markets.”

With minimal experience, Marie transformed her website into a marketplace aimed at local producers of upcycled, eco-friendly or sustainable goods. “It involved very early starts and late finishes, juggling my family and other commitments, but alongside my three wonderful volunteers, we launched the Remade Reloved creative Christmas online market on 1st November.”

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, customers can browse from the comfort of their own homes. “We have around 60 creative businesses with over 650 product lines, all created in and around Folkestone. What’s more, lots of businesses are also open to commissions which creates a personalised experience for customers.

“Customers can visit and buy from as many sellers as they wish and pay in one transaction. Many sellers also offer a free local contact-free delivery to help keep the community safe.”

Marie credits Folkestone’s creative community for enabling the venture to get off the ground, “I have lived in Folkestone for most of my life. There is a very strong creative community here and we all are happy and willing to roll up our selves and support each other.

“I am immensely proud of this creative way to support local businesses and offer customers a new local online shopping experience, especially since Christmas shopping will look different this year for many.”






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