Hay-on-Wye is world-renowned for its bookshops and literary festivals, but the town is also home to a range of other, small independent shops. One of the newest to open is Oil & Oak, a gift shop and gallery at the heart of the town, which stocks a wonderful array of handmade items from around 40 local makers and artists.

All items are carefully selected by shop owner Abi Coombs who spent years working as a curator and artist in Bristol before moving to Hay in 2020, with her husband and new baby. She has always dreamt of opening a shop where local makers could showcase and sell their work and says “For me, running a creative business is less about the hustle and more about heart. I’ve always felt art should be accessible for everyone and, opening this gift shop and gallery, where I can support local makers, crafters and artists, seems a natural evolution.”  

Spread over two floors, the shop contains a gorgeous selection of art, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, homeware, cards, wrapping paper, clothing, beauty products and much, much more. As a testament to the truly inclusive space that Abi has created, a number of the artists work regularly in the shop, allowing customers to find out first hand about the techniques, time and passion it takes to make these pieces of art, as well giving them the opportunity to discuss bespoke items direct with the maker.  

The two upstairs rooms also host regular art exhibitions as well as workshops and childrens’ art clubs – a crafty way to keep the kids entertained for an hour or two! 

Abi says “We are committed to conscious shopping and work hard to showcase design-led, high quality, hand-crafted work that is made responsibly and sustainably.  Variety and inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do so why not pop in an have a look around … you’re sure to find something really unique!” 

To find out more please see the Oil & Oak website at www.oilandoak.co.uk where you can also purchase some of the items online and find out about upcoming workshops and exhibitions.