So how did I come to set up Notions Haberdashery. Well, I have always enjoyed handicrafts, especially sewing small useful gift items. In recent years it has been harder and harder to source haberdashery and fabrics. Therefore when in late 2015 I was in the Loft Cafe of the Victoria Mill, Congleton I was intrigued when I got chatting to another customer who said he owned an ever expanding fabrics business. It transpired that he was the sole UK agent for the fabulous Moda craft fabrics. This got me thinking, I enjoy working for myself, I enjoy needle crafts, there is a gap in the market, so why don’t I open a haberdashery.
The second chance happening that set me on the road to opening my haberdashery was when I became aware of a unit being available in the historic Victoria Mill’s Craft Corridor. I though it was the ideal place to open a haberdashery selling sewing equipment, craft fabrics and wool. The Mill is busy, it often appears on television - Bargain Hunt and The Antiques Road Trip. So I rang the man from Moda fabrics. He was willing to supply me with Moda fabrics. This was wonderful as Moda is a famous and high end, popular fabric range. Next I contacted Coats, who are famous for cottons. However the Millward haberdashery brand is theirs, as are Patons and Red Heart wools, and the lovely and design led Free Spirit fabrics. Which have such designers as Zandra Rhodes, Tula Pink, Kaffe Fassett and Tim Holtz under their umbrella.
I now had my suppliers and a place to sell my goods, the next step was to fit out my unit. I was able to buy a lovely dark wood dresser from within the Antiques Centre at the Victoria Mill. I had also been to a trade fair and by pure chance at lunch time got chatting to the sales manager for Shearer Candles of Glasgow. He advised me to visit his stand. There I found a super range of candles, including scented, rustic and church candles. So the final piece was in place. Along with my fabrics and haberdashery I would sell the historic Shearer Candles - established 1897 in Glasgow.
The next step was to set up my website and social media. The social Media was something I had done before. However I must admit I approached Twitter with renewed enthusiasm, which is being rewarded. Facebook was an old friend and I added my Notions Haberdasher page with ease. Next was Pinterest. Before I could set up any of my pages and the website however I needed a logo. Here was another coincidence my daughter is a designer - textiles to be exact. She is also getting to grips with colour separation for the ceramics industry, so designing my logo was easy for her. Before I instructed her as to what I wanted I had a consultation with my web designer Calum Smail of Zumm Marketing. We decided that something that looked contemporary and different from the crowd was needed. Therefore mono chrome was decided on, and my daughter Sophie Buckley-James produced the Notions Haberdashery logo. There is going to be a click and collect section to my website. One click and collect venue will be the Victoria Mill where Notions is based. The other will the at the Two Doors Studio, 100 Crewe Road, Alsager.
On reflection everything to do with Notions Haberdashery has happened by chance meetings or through a contact I already had. I met two out of three of my main supplier by chance, both times in cafes. Zumm Marketing my website designer rents space at 100 Crewe Road, Alsager from my friend Alex who I also met in a cafe. Lorna and Ruthie of the Two Doors Studio are also Alex’s tenants. Then my daughter is a textiles designer, who was able to supply the logo. As to the name Notions I got that idea from an old neighbour who told me the Americans call haberdashery notions. Perhaps my new business could have been called serendipity as this has played a great role in bringing Notions Haberdashery into fruition.