The Ladies of Lemonade Lane - Celebrating Reigate
Find My Reigate exists to bring families closer to the fantastic community on our doorstep. Our 'Celebrating Reigate' series looks to put the spotlight on the individuals, businesses and locations that makes our corner of Surrey such a great place to be.
The Lovely Ladies (and dogs) of Lemonade Lane
Lemonade Lane is a wonderful Aladdin's cave of art, gifts and crafts on the Reigate/Redhill border, but it wants to be more than a shop and tries hard to be a place for the local community to meet and come together. I first visited the shop for what can only be described as a spectacular Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning in September and I fell in love. They don't sell cup cakes as a general rule, but they should!!
The shop opened in 2014, but it had been in the planning for 30 years by the former accountant and local mum Marilyn Tea. Marilyn runs the shop with her daughter Hayley (and a little help from dogs Benson & Philippe!) stocking an ever changing array of local arts and crafts.
First things first, why did you call it Lemonade Lane?
It was a name that came to me when setting up the shop that stems from childhood. We felt it was a happy and inviting name for a gift shop full of beautiful and different gifts.
I heard that his shop was 30 years in the making, how did it come about?
I always dreamt of owning a gift shop where everything was handmade and could showcase the amazing array of arts, crafts and talents of local people. We started small by doing craft fairs with our own signature hand poured soya wax and essential oil candles in vintage glass containers (which we still make and stock in the shop today). They proved popular and so we took the leap into opening a shop. We had been looking for a location for a year and kept walking past the empty shop on Linkfield corner thinking how perfect it would be. The next day when looking at the estate agents sites - there it was for rent! Deciding it was meant to be, we have not looked back. Whilst my daughter Hayley has been involved since the get go, she joined full time in May this year to coincide with her launching her own silver jewellery brand.
Is realising your dream even more special because you get to share it with your daughter?
We are very lucky to have always got on so well and we are a good match and keep each other in check! We have a lot of fun and it makes the long hours and moments of panic of being self-employed much easier when we have each other for backup.
What is your advice to other parents who may be harbouring their own dreams to try something new?
Do it! As clichéd as it sounds life is short and if you have the opportunity to try something - give it a go - you won't regret it.
You are passionate about supporting local artists. Is all your stock sourced locally?
We have an amazing selection of over 40 different artists who supply us, and whilst the majority of them are local, we also have some artists as far away as Scotland and a few fair trade pieces too. When we first started the shop we were amazed at the range of talents that were so local to us and always enjoy seeing all the different arts that people create. We also create a lot of our own work, which we are always busy making in our 'creation station' at the back of the shop - whilst it may look chaotic to some, we know where everything is!
You regularly bring people together for craft nights after hours, tell us about those?
We have started running craft workshops, where artists come in for an evening a teach people a new art/craft all topped off with some fizz and nibbles to enjoy. They are a great way to spend an evening, make new friends and learn a new skill. Keep your eyes peeled for new workshops coming in 2017.
Where are your other favourite local spots to see local arts and crafts?
The Surrey Open Studios is a fantastic event where artists all over surrey open up their homes and workshops for people to go round and have a look. It is fascinating to see people's workspaces as well as the work they create.
If you could wake up on Christmas morning to anything from your shop under your tree, what would it be?
I am coveting one of the amazing new paintings by local artist David Hicks whilst Hayley still has her eye on sculpture by Gerda Rubenstein called 'The Grass is Greener' - every time people look at either we both get a little nervous!
What would you recommend for a dreaded work or family Secret santa gift for under £10?
We have tried to make sure we have a wide range of gifts under £10, but our top pick this year would be a jar of amazing handmade alcoholic humbugs for £7.50 - you just need to pick their tipple of choice - Raspberry Prosecco, Whiskey & Cola, Gin & Elderflower, Strawberry Daiquirii, Passionfriut Mojito or Cherry & Amaretto. - Mmmmmmmmm yummy!