Broad Canvas has re-opened their doors


There is something magical about walking into an art shop and getting some fresh art supplies or even discovering a new one (which you may or may not ever actually use but it definitely completes your art drawer). So to say I was excited that I could finally do this again is an understatement, and I spoke with Broad Canvas about this has all been like for them.

Broad Canvas was founded in 1981 by a local family, and is an art and craft shop spread over three (!) floors which has become a staple for creatives living in and around Oxford. Many have missed it during lockdown, and according to Peter, the shop manager, it seems like they have missed us too;

“It was lovely to finally open the doors again, to have customers saying how much they’ve missed us and to be excited to buy their favourite products. We’ve had so much nice feedback and it really does make us feel very much part of the local creative hub in Oxford and the surrounding area,” he says.

It has been a busy first week for the shop, with both visits from regular customers and web orders, Peter tells us.

“We hugely appreciate the support we’ve had from our customers. It means a great deal and like a lot of small business, we appreciate every order we receive”

An opportunity to be kind and creative

But lockdown, however horrible the circumstances, has not just been a negative for the team working at Broad Canvas.

“Our team are all artists, illustrators, graphic designers and photographers themselves. Lockdown gave us all the opportunity to be more creative and to spend time doing the things we love,” Peter says.

Broad Canvas also ran an art competition as a way of keeping the creative community together. This was was a great success and the standard of entries was incredibly high with many people voting for their favourites.

“We were hugely impressed and had a lot of fun seeing all the entries coming in thick and fast.”

But of course, the business must keep running and the creatives of Oxford need their fix.

However, when the lockdown eased on 15. June, not everyone was able to leave their homes to go shopping, whether they were still shielding or juggling work and home schooling.

“As a small business we believe it’s important to go the extra mile, to put our customers at the heart of what we do,” Peter explains.

“Their deliveries have been dropped off safely and free of charge when Peter, the shop manager is on his way home from work. We’ve had customers ordering presents for father’s day, birthdays or special occasions too, so to make life a little easier, we’ve gift wrapped these free of charge before delivery.”

If you want to visit Broad Canvas, these are the measures they have taken to keep you and themselves safe:

“We spent two weeks getting the shop ready to open again, as we want our customers to feel safe visiting us. We clean and sanitise everything regularly and we’ve limited the number of customers we have coming in to visit us to make sure we’re not too busy. We have directional arrows on the floor and signage to help customers move around our shop safely.

There’s hand sanitisers available for use, as well as extra cleaning products. We have a protective screen at the pay point and we’re taking card payments where possible as these are safer. To make things more convenient, we even offer a click and collect service where materials can be ordered online and then picked up from the shop.

We’ve also done lots to support our customers who are shielding or are perhaps not ready to go shopping just yet. We’re offering free delivery on web orders over £20 and if customers are local, we’ve been dropping off orders to them safely. Just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to help.”

Visit them or shop online:

Broad Canvas
20 Broad St

Anita Marie Myrvang
Author: Anita Marie Myrvang

Founder of Creative Oxford, 2D/3D-illustrator and graphic designer at Frekt Design and weird brain behind the comic series About Last Night. More is more when it comes to colors, patterns, people, crazy ideas, collabs and office dogs.

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