A COLLECTION of “talented” traders all under one roof in Christchurch- Fantastic Things Emporium is Trader of the Week.

Found in Saxon Square, Fantastic Things Emporium is a street-market style venue, boasting a selection of gifts, crafts and antiques by independent artists and businesses.

The project was launched in June 2022 when Mark and Ja Battistini, Sian Hillman, Steve Goodlet and Vicki Stack put their creative heads together with the aim of supporting local business owners.

Sian said: “With covid, a lot of small businesses were affected, and it’s very hard for anyone with a small business to have a big presence on the High Street.

“With this, we could give people a chance to have that high street location. It helped us to boost and support local business as a time when it was difficult for them.”

Bournemouth Echo: One of the stalls at Fantastic Things EmporiumOne of the stalls at Fantastic Things Emporium

After obtaining the Saxon Square site, previously home to Argos, the team began to build the vibrant and bustling venue, quickly attracting traders through the door.

Sian said: “We stripped it down and painted it, and as businesses started to move in and build their stores, suddenly all these colours and products were here, and it just came to life.”

Mark added: “When we opened, we had a lot of makers and crafters which was great. They all bring their own personality to the shop.”

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Now, and a year on, Fantastic Things Emporium has expanded in size, and is home to even more unique products, including art, clothing, homeware, and even dog ice cream.

Sian said: “It’s constantly evolved over the last year.

“The talent that’s in this building now is just unbelievable.”

Bournemouth Echo: One of the products available at Fantastic Things Emporium.One of the products available at Fantastic Things Emporium.

Mark added: “It’s like an Aladdin’s cave- you walk in and expect it to be small, but there are so many sections.”

Customers can even pit-stop at the emporium café, which serves a tasty selection of waffles, ice cream and milkshakes.

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After celebrating a successful year, the team at Fantastic Things Emporium have sat down to discuss the venues future.

Mark said: “We’ve got several plans for it, and we want to set up an art exhibition, and art workshops.”

Sian added: “We want to make it a real community hub, so offering more workshops and things for people to get involved with.

"We want to make it a destination.”

You can visit Fantastic Things Emporium at 21b Saxon Sq, Christchurch, BH23 1QA.