Correctional centre craft shop trying to capture more business

The growing popularity of regional markets has been impacting on the business of the craft shop Captured Craft, which donates proceeds of its sales to community organisations. 

Captured Craft can be found in the outer grounds of Lithgow Correctional Centre at Marrangaroo. 

The craft shop, which features the work of local craftspeople and some goods produced by correctional centre inmates, is run by three volunteers, headed by Gladys Fowler. 

“It’s been a low sale year so far, we have really seen a decline,” she said. 

“We might have a good weekend and then we’ll have days when we don’t sell a thing – or we sell $5 worth the whole day.”

The craftspeople who contribute to the goods in the shop contribute 20 per cent of their sale price back to Captured Crafts. 

That money is then donated to organisations including the Lithgow and District Volunteer Rescue Squad and local aged care. 

Ms Fowler said it was difficult to keep the volunteers invested in running the shop if few people came through on its opening days. 

The shop, with its varied collection of goods from local honey, toys and baby booties, handcrafted quilts and second hand goods, is supplied electricity from the correction centre, which has made it possible to stay open. 

“We do not see many people from Lithgow stopping in to see us. It is mainly people who see the sign and turn off the highway to have a look,” Ms Fowler said. 

Captured Crafts previously had a more prominent sign on the highway but, after it was knocked over by a truck, Ms Fowler said the new smaller hand painted sign does not pack the same punch. 

“We would love to see a new sign go up, but I don’t think that is going to happen,” she said. 

In September last year Captured Crafts donated $1000 to the Lithgow and District Volunteer Rescue Squad.

“We want to continue to support those groups, if we can. They need the assistance we can give them,” Ms Fowler said. Captured Crafts is open Fridays (10am-3pm), weekends and public holidays (10am to 4pm).