EXCLUSIVE: Make It at Market star Dominic Chinea on why he wants to do his job until he's 'old and grey!’

EXCLUSIVE: Make It at Market star Dominic Chinea on why he wants to do his job until he's 'old and grey!’

Dominic Chinea is back with Make It at Market season 2 and is determined to set a whole new batch of talented amateur crafters on course for success. 

Although best known for his masterful metalwork on The Repair Shop, Dominic was delighted to add another notch to his toolbelt when he presented Make It at Market season 1 in January this year. The inspirational series helping budding entrepreneurs earn a living from their crafting hobbies proved such a popular hit that a second 15-episode run is primed and ready to go!

Here, in an exclusive interview, Dominic tells What To Watch why he loves making this special show…

Dominic Chinea exclusive Make It at Market interview

Congratulations on bringing Make It to Market to our screens twice in one year! You must be thrilled series two has followed so quickly?

"Yes, two in one year, and I think this second series will be bigger and better! We filmed the first series towards the end of last summer [at National Trust property Stoneywell in Leicestershire] and the second one this summer at beautiful Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire. I feel really privileged to be a small part of a much bigger machine making a lovely TV show that genuinely changes people’s lives. I’d like to carry on doing this until I’m old and grey!"

Can you tease what we can expect from this second series?

“Over 15 episodes you meet 30 makers from all different walks of life at various stages of their crafts. There’s a good mix of heritage crafts, like willow weaving and stained glass, mixed in with things like upcycling and upholstery, so there's something for everybody. With some makers their mentors give them a lot of guidance, others don’t need technical help but trying to make a business out of their talents is where they fall down. It’s fascinating to watch them develop and flourish.”

Des Gillan working on his willow sculpture in the Willow Weaving Corner.

Des Gillan working on his willow sculpture in the Willow Weaving Corner. (Image credit: BBC/Flabbergast TV Ltd)

You must want to buy everything you see!

[Laughing] “Yes, it’s terrible! Every series I end up with something. This time I bought a wobbly-man puppet forged out of iron from one of the super talented blacksmiths — it didn’t count as part of the sales figures on the show. When I first met him he wouldn’t sell it, which is a classic case of someone needing business advice. After two months of working with his mentor he sold it to me!”

What advice would you give to an amateur wishing to take their crafting business to the next level?

“The best bit of advice I’d give to somebody wanting to start off is to talk to people, meet other artists, share your work and passion for it, and go to craft fairs. It’s not easy, you might go to your first fair and not sell a thing, but don’t give up and don’t be disheartened - keep going! Also, watch the show because you will pick up advice and tips from the mentors.”

What trends would you like to see in 2024?

“I hope that heritage crafts are celebrated and supported more and more, as a lot of them are dying out. We’re at a critical point where we're a generation away from losing some crafts completely because there’s not enough people doing things like willow weaving and paper marbling. I’d point people in the direction of the Heritage Crafts’ endangered list — it’s eye opening.”

How can people support crafters?

“The next time you need something, maybe look up your nearest craft fair. Spending £10 could make a craft person's day, and also bring you joy because they come from somewhere or someone special and have a story.”

And, finally Dominic, are you enjoying your unplanned TV career?

"I’m so lucky. I would not have thought I would be in this position a few years ago! 

"I never intended to get into TV - I was a set designer; making sets, building and designing props and in the background behind the camera holding the wall up! But then I made the light-up sign for The Repair Shop and I was offered this opportunity. At the time, I thought ‘I’ll give it a go’ but I never thought that my life would now be like this. 

"It’s still weird when people say ‘hello’ to me on the street and stuff like that, but it’s really nice. I'm very fortunate to work on lovely shows. It was a conscious decision to only be involved in nice shows that I enjoy and am proud of."

Make It at Market series two gets underway on BBC1 Monday to Friday from Monday 27 November 2023 on BBC One at 4.30pm. Episodes will also be available on BBC iPlayer.