Redundant art supplies shop worker opens new store

A woman who was made redundant from her job selling arts supplies is opening a new shop to fill the gap left by her old employer.

Jody Nicklin is setting up The Art Department Stoke in Hanley, Staffs. She previously worked at Webberley’s, which shut up shop due to retirement after more than a century trading.

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Ms Nicklin has also created jobs at the Art Department Stoke for two friends, Lydia Greaves and Karen Robertson, who also worked at Webberley’s prior to its closure last month.

Ms Nicklin told the Stoke Sentinel: "There are quite a lot of students and artists around here and our shop will sell a range which you can't just get anywhere. Hopefully we can make something good come out of the closure of Webberley's.

"I came up with the idea of the shop about a day after we were told we were being made redundant and the shop was closing. More and more people contacted us offering their condolences and I thought I could make something from this.”

The new shop was welcomed by artists working locally. Jasmine and Jade Hayes, twin sisters from Tame Studios, said they were pleased there would still be a shop to buy art supplies locally.

Their views were echoed by Michael Pritchard, who owns Michael's Art Gallery and previously displayed work at Webberley’s.

He said: "There are not many places in the Potteries where you can get high-quality art supplies so it is brilliant and there is a real market for it."