“IT is bittersweet,” says the director of a Didcot store which is closing down after three years of trading.

The Crafters Emporium, a craft store off Broadway, will be closing to allow the owners to focus more on their other shops in Faringdon, Kidlington and Oxford.

Natasha Martell, who is the co-director and co-founder of the company with her daughter Charlotte, said it is “painful” to close their origin store but they want to focus on expanding the other three businesses.

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“We just made the decision that we needed to focus on the other shops,” she said. “We decided we needed to close here because it’s such a small shop and we don’t have the capacity to expand it.

“We have been thinking about it for a little while because, although we do quite well here, at the end of the day we need to focus on the others.

“So we decided about two months ago that we would think about it more seriously. We do quite well in the other stores.

“Kidlington and Oxford are doing really well and have gone on to host craft parties and workshops and we hope to do that in Faringdon as well.”

When the Didcot store closes, Mrs Martell hopes the family business will be able to focus on potentially opening a coffee shop in their Oxford store off High Street.


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She also hopes to bring more craft parties and workshops to the Faringdon store as well as opening a new space in Bicester.

She said: “It will continue to grow at the other shops and we’ll even look at opening another Oxford store if it’s the right time, decision, shape and size for us.

“We are also waiting for our new store to come through for Bicester, that has been a working process for a while, that will be our priority next.”

There isn’t a final date confirmed for the Didcot store to close but a new tenant is due to take over the space. It is unsure what the store will become.

“It was bittersweet making the decision to leave,” said Mrs Martell. “I love Didcot, I live here, it’s my town.


“It’s hard because it’s where it all started for the business. It started everything and it really helped me through some hard times and painful times.

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“It’s going to be hard to leave. I’ve had some tears and it’s really hard but it’s just one of those things – it’ll be even harder the closer it gets to closing as it’s a family business.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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