Emily’s Paint A Pot opens new store inside Next’s Manchester Arndale Store

  • Emily's Paint A Pot opens its second UK store in Next's Manchester Arndale store

A new arts and pottery workshop has opened in the Manchester Arndale as part of Next’s £11 million store refurbishment.

The crafts and ceramics studio Emily’s Paint a pot, based in Prestwich Greater Manchester, has launched its second store with the retail giant. Offering customers of all ages and abilities the chance to show off their arts and craft skills whilst they shop.

The studio opened December 2nd in Next’s new concept store as part of a joint venture with the iconic high street brand. The launch featured plenty of family fun with Santa’s Elves helping children hunt down one of the 100 baubles hidden around Manchester, each one winning them a prize.

Emily Barret set up her first Paint a Pot shop in Prestwich after deciding she wanted a lifestyle change. She said: “After having two children within two years I decided I wanted to choose my own hours and work for myself. I was an accountant at the Manchester Arena and fancied a total change.

“I’d always loved craft and I really wanted a shop that meant interaction with the public, so a pottery painting studio was the perfect solution. Even though I’d only ever painted once before.”

She added: “Sadly my Mum was in her final weeks of life and had lost the ability to speak. I told her what I thought of doing and she managed to say, ‘do it!’. That was the final push that I needed. I went straight home, found a perfect little studio down the road from my house and the next day signed up to a 6-year lease.”

The new store has something for everyone, with shoppers being able to pick from over 200 different pots and decorations, ranging from money boxes to personalised handprint items. Younger shoppers can also build their own teddy bear and design and paint it its very own t-shirt.  

For those wanting that little something extra personal, Minnie’s Treasures, named after shop owner Emily’s daughter, offers 3D Castings for hands and feet that capture every detail along with clay imprints that can be made into any shape.

Reflecting on having her own business in the Manchester Arndale Emily said, “It still feels a bit surreal. It has been crazy busy in the lead up to opening as it is also our busiest time of year in our other studio.

“Over Christmas I hope to sit back and process it all and say, ‘wow it’s really happened’, then start planning for new year workshops and events.”

Along with the regular potter painting, the store will be teaming up with Gino D’Acampo’s recently opened restaurant, who will be providing the food for special events such as children’s parties. There are also plans for exciting adult only Pottery and Prosecco evenings for those wishing to paint in peace.

Emily’s Paint a Pot can be found on the children’s wear department on the lower ground level of Next’s Manchester Arndale store.

More information can be found at