How it all started...



The Bolthole was established in the Summer of 2019 when I, Debra Harris, an interior designer met textile designer Sarah Fennell and discovered a common design ethos. We decided to share a studio at Maws Craft Centre in the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire and to explore our shared interest in sourcing vintage furniture, fabric and furnishings. Our studio became a hub for creatives looking to uncover new ways of making a home with old things.

Passionate about introducing people to traditional and heritage crafts and encouraging the re-use of beautiful, well-made vintage pieces, we launched a programme of design and upcycling workshops. These quickly took off and soon created the need for more space than our little studio could offer.

So less than a year after it all started, we moved… and now have a beautiful new home, ‘The Bolthole Store’, in the heart of Ironbridge, a World Heritage Site.

‘A Bolthole’ is traditionally a place of refuge and sanctuary, away from the craziness outside. For us, our new store is a creative oasis and haven from the humdrum, so it seemed the perfect name. Whilst you’re here, you can also enjoy a quiet moment in our art cafe, serving delicious cake and locally roasted coffee. Peruse the artwork in our latest art exhibition and take some time out of your busy day to enjoy the creative, inspiring space we have created.


Meet the team:


Debra (as introduced by Sarah)

A fantastically talented interior designer, furniture restorer and marketing guru. Willing to help anyone with anything, Debra is very generous with her time for others.

Great with advice, wisdom and homemade soup, she’s full of anecdotes about her time living in Bosnia, the London city career and the Victorian rectory she restored and turned into an award-winning boutique B&B.  I’ve told her she needs to start writing her autobiography because it would fly off the shelves and be a best seller.

An incredibly inspiring woman, she’s an amazing business partner and friend who makes coming to work an absolute pleasure. I just wish she didn’t have so many chairs!


Sarah (as introduced by Debra)

Sarah is the youngest member of The Bolthole team and the one with most joyful giggle. She’s an absolutely awesome fabric designer whose unique technique and eye for colour blows me away. She’s a whizz on social media, is great fun to share with and is getting better at making tea.

She surprises me every day with her creative flair and gift for seeing things in a new light and, if I had to change anything about her, it would be to stop her feeding my dog treats.


Jack (as introduced by Jack)

Woof! I’m Jack and I am by far the most important member of The Bolthole team. I look after the studio and make sure Sarah and Debra are not kidnapped by intruders (they call them customers), eat too much or spend too much time chatting.

Basically, I’m in charge and I take my managerial responsibilities very seriously. They involve lots of barking, begging for titbits and rolling on my back, although, apparently, I’m easily lured away from my guard post by the promise of treats or walks along the River Severn.