STALLHOLDERS at Christchurch’s new emporium have been putting the final touches to their pitches ahead of its opening on Monday.

The Fantastic Things Emporium, located on Saxon Square, is to open its doors to customers on June 21, and excitement is building among traders and staff at the emporium.

Bournemouth Echo:

Retail manager Sian Hillman said: “The space is really filling up and the stallholders are getting very excited to open, and we are too.

"The talent on display here is just amazing. We have got people who have wood turned beautiful bowls, lovely hand-crafted jewellery, natural made candles and so much more.

"Once we are open, we are hoping we will get a lot more enquiries about people wanting to move into the emporium."


The emporium already has 29 traders occupying 32 pitches but, with a separate room on the ground floor to move into as well as a large space upstairs, they say they have a capacity to host another 200 traders.


Bournemouth Echo:

Sian added: “As more people move in, it is going to become more and more diverse. When we fill up the front of the emporium, we will begin to offer pitches further back and we may need to start dividing the emporium into different zones.

“Everyone is so nice here and already it feels like a little community. It is really lovely to see stallholders talking with each other and sharing ideas about their products and the stall themselves.

“Within a couple of weeks, we hope to have filled the downstairs space and then we will look to move people in upstairs as well and when we do, we will have the café set up as well.

“We hope that will give people a reason to venture all the way through the building and, as they do so, look at all the stalls on offer.”

The emporium will be open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, apart from Sunday where it will be from 10am to 4pm.

One of the traders who have already moved into the emporium is Valda Crafty, who creates hand painted artwork on repurposed glass bottles and wood to make interior lights and novelty placards.

Bournemouth Echo:

She said: “It is a hobby gone crazy. It has taken over the house and I was looking for somewhere to move into, and I saw the lovely people have gone and open this space, so I jumped at the opportunity.

“I really wanted to prove to myself that I could sell my products on the high street. I wasn’t sure what the standard would be and whether I was up to standard.

“Having moved in here and seen what else is on offer, there are no two things that are the same.”

If you are interested in having a pitch, email Sian at