Through our inclusive destination project, we are working with local businesses to help promote the accessible facilities available at the beautiful Scottish town of Cupar. Today we are talking to Kirsten Mirrey, the owner of Mirrey Fine Art located on St Catherine Street, on what being inclusive means to her and the process she took to purchase a portable ramp for her shop.
How long have you been running Mirrey Fine Art?
Mirrey Fine Art has been open since November 2018, previous to that Kirsten Mirrey Art was run since 2016 mainly online.
Where did your passion for art start?
As long as I can remember! Art is therapeutic for both the artist and others who admire it. I have a great passion for both painting my own art and finding other artists to showcase in the gallery who show the same passion.
What was your motivation into buying a portable ramp to allow easier access to your business?
To allow inclusion for everyone into the shop, I knew it was important to make the experience of shopping or having a look in the gallery as easy for everyone as possible.
Where did you begin when looking to purchase a portable ramp? What business did you purchase it from?
At first I was looking at ones the landlord had but these were too large for the pavement, I then looked online but these can get quite pricey and not the right size for the step numbers and pavement size – eventually we found the perfect one in Dundee on gumtree!
Image of portable ramp providing access to Mirrey Fine Art.
Before looking into purchasing a portable ramp, what knowledge did you have on accessibility? Where did you find more information?
I had previously worked in art studios where they had made the building accessible for all with an elevator and a ramp, and saw how smooth running this made the building for everyone so knew this was necessary.
What else would you like to do to create more inclusive customer experiences?
I’m lucky I have a great sized floor space so the way we positioned the tables, I have access for prams and wheelchairs to comfortably get round the whole shop. We try really hard to help as much as the customer wants when accessing and leaving the shop and while shopping. Higher up pieces on the wall can be a little tricky to view and see pricing, we often take pieces off the wall to show closer up but if there was a way we could improve on that aspect it would certainly help the customer if they feel they want to shop a little more independently.
Image shows the comfortable black arm chair available to customers if they need a rest whilst visiting Mirrey Fine Art.
How do you think virtual experiences would help showcase your business to potential customers, especially those with specialised access requirements?
I think that would really help put people at ease and it’s something I hadn’t thought of doing. Seeing how easy it is to manoeuvre around the shop in the floor space and also the ramp at the door would really encourage people to feel at ease about coming. We also have a disabled parking space right outside the shop door which some people don’t realise; it is great to have as the free long stay car park (Fluthers) is around 200m uphill to get to the shop!
Thank you Kristen for answering our questions.