A POORLY baby was the inspiration for a craft emporium due to open in Blackburn’s newly refurbished Heatley’s Chambers, Darwen Street, next Saturday.

Sophia Lamb, now aged two, was born at 26 weeks weighing just 1lb 10oz, and with a slim chance of survival. Doctors believed if she did make it she would be blind and deaf.

Jenny and James Lamb faced an agonising wait for several weeks while their daughter was in intensive care, so Jenny occupied her mind by making hand-made crafts. She specialises in wooden signs with quirky messages and greetings cards.

Sophia astonished everyone by making a complete recovery, but the ordeal inspired her mum to set up a crafting business – Sophia’s Influence. Says Jenny, 29: “I started making things just to keep my mind occupied.

“It was an awful time and I just had to keep busy, but thankfully Sophia is absolutely fine now.”

So the couple and their friend, Amanda Allit, started attending craft fairs, saw some incredible products for sale and started organising selling events. The Lovecraft Lancashire shop at Heatley’s Chambers is the progression of that idea.

“Travelling to craft fairs takes an awful lot of time and crafters have to stay there and sell. While they are doing that they can’t be making crafts.

“So, in Blackburn, we are going to sell products on their behalf. They will pay us a monthly fee, but they receive the proceeds of their sales. It’s a winning situation and there are some amazing products for sale.”

All products are hand-made and include up-cycled clothes, African-inspired children’s garments, jewellery, furniture, artwork and foodstuffs.

Some of the profits will be donated to the Royal Preston Hospital, where Sophia was treated. The space previously occupied by Sprout Vegetarian Cafe has been taken over by Coconut Rose, a vegan bakery.

“LoveCraft will be playing host to the most talented crafters and artists Lancashire has to offer. Offering anything from jumpers to jewellery, dresses to drawings and furniture to fudge, everything in the shop will be handmade and for sale,” says Jenny.

The LoveCraft emporium is open from 9am-5pm on Saturday, April 12.