‘Trade picking up all the time’ at fabrics shop

Caistor could soon be enjoying a reputation for having some amazing shops where visitors browse for hours – with a fabrics shop in South Street helping to cement that reputation.

Sarah Scott Smith moved into the former Wracks shop, opposite the White Hart, in January, having moved from Tetford near Horncastle.

Being a busy lady with plenty of house renovation projects under way and an internet business to run, it took her five months to open the shop, called Paisley & Rose.

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She opened in June, on only two days a week, every Friday and Saturday, from 10am-1pm, and from 2pm-5pm. Sarah had initially planned to extend the opening hours at a later date, but she says people have become used to them and she might leave them as they are.

Sarah was always content to allow growth to happen organically. “I’ve never advertised,” she said. “I was happy as things were.”

Her knowledge of fabrics began with her love of learning needlework at school. “For years I was making soft furnishings,” said Sarah. “But I wouldn’t recommend anyone turns their hobby into a business. I am very particular and put too much time in. It was becoming a chore, so I decided to sell fabrics instead.”

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She set up http://www.tetfordfabrics.co.uk which became fabulously successful, but she decided to open her “little purple shop” in Caistor to distinguish herself from many other fabric sellers who now trade solely online.

Sarah came to live and trade in Caistor without really knowing much about the town, having been attracted by her love of old buildings.

“It seemed right at the time, I had just sold my house,” she said.

“Caistor is lovely,” she added. “The people have been so welcoming.”

Her description could easily have applied to herself when the Citizen called on her yesterday (Friday, November 4, 2016).

She confessed to being camera shy, preferring her stock to speak for itself.

The shop attracted three other shoppers during the Citizen’s visit. “Trade has been picking up all the time,” said Sarah.

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Almost all of Sarah’s fabrics are suitable for home furnishings, though she has a small stock of craft fabrics. She said most of her upholstery fabrics sell for less than half the recommended retail prices. Sarah also sells colourful gift items from FairTrade suppliers. It looked as if her shop catered for a range of budgets.

Although Sarah has many contacts with freelances – for example, craftspeople who can make bespoke curtains – she is always on the lookout for other local people whom she can recommend to customers.

Outside of Sarah’s two trading days each week, all other visits are by appointment only. Details can be found on the shop’s website at http://www.paisleyandrose.co.uk

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