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December Newsletter

Shop 3, Kilbirnie Plaza, 22 Bay Road
Kilbirnie, Wellington 6022   
  (04) 387 4505
 jo@sewingdirect.co.nz


December 2018 Newsletter   

 

Christmas / New Year hours! 

Christmas day is a Tuesday and we’ll be open until Monday 24 December at 2pm.  Then we’ll all take an 8 day break (wahoo!) and re-open the shop on Thursday 3 January.  

 So we’ll be CLOSED from 2pm Monday 24 December till 9am Thursday 3 January. Stock up on all your crafty Xmas presents and other craft needs before Christmas Eve.   

Kilbirnie Santa Parade this Sunday

Don’t forget that this Sunday 2 December is the second-ever Kilbirnie Santa parade, which was such a big hit last year!  It starts on the dot of 10.30am, from the Rongotai Road end of Mahora Street and wends its way along Rongotai Road and all the way up Bay Road. There’ll be lots of free kids’ entertainment afterwards - face painting, hula hooping, Santa’s grotto - and more! 

For the grown-ups, most of the shops will be open this Sunday, including ours! We’re taking part in the parade so the shop will be open from about 10.45am - till about 2pm.  

2019 classes

There’s been lots of interest in our class timetable for next year but we’ve not yet started planning it in detail.  In 2018 we’ve held over 90 classes – for adults and kids – in all manner of crafts but we take a break at this time of year because the weather’s nice, the shop gets hot, and we’re all a bit pooped!  Watch the website and instore handouts from about February for 2019 classes! 

Website news 

Our 100% cottons are now available for sale on our website and we hope that customers - especially those from out of town - will take advantage of the opportunity to buy them online.  The more we sell, the more new fabrics we can get in!  

We’re also in the process of adding our New Zealand yarns to the website so that more customers can readily buy local yarn from a local retailer.   

 

New yarns

We’re very happy with our new summer yarns which include cotton, mercerised cotton, poly/cotton,  cotton/silk, cotton/bamboo and cotton/linen blends, all of which are lovely to use and wear.   And we have several new Rowan yarns, including the wool/hemp 10ply tweed mix which has a classy, rustic look and feel! 

 

New machines

We have the new Janome air-threading overlocker in store! The AT2000D is $1599 and we love it!  Adjustable tension differentiates it from the Babylock Imagine, which has had no serious competition till now!  We have demo models of both machines so come and compare their features.   

 

Use it or lose it

One of our regulars said the other day that customers of independent craft/sewing shops like ours need to “use it or lose it” and sadly this is more true than many people may think!  The costs of running an independent shop that sells “non-essential” items are very high and shops like ours are becoming more and more rare in NZ as a result.  Some people believe that the competition from international online businesses is crippling local “bricks and mortar” stores. Certainly local crafters’ use of those sites takes away some business from us. There’s also the impact of the very large bricks and mortar stores that can buy in masses of stock that, to some extent, overlaps with ours - although often it’s of inferior quality.  But what we have that they don’t are highly skilled staff who know and can vouch for the quality of our stock, personal service, follow-up service, and a welcoming and attractive venue, all of which we hope you agree are worth preserving!   

 

Kilbirnie News

Related to the previous item is that our business has been badly affected by all the goings-on in Kilbirnie recently. What with the drainage works in the main street, which have blocked off the street and occupied quite a few carparks for what seems like months now,  the bus route and hub changes (the permanent bus hub is an uncovered and quite lengthy walk from the shops), plus the cycleway that is now being constructed to Newtown, removing all the parking on one side of Crawford Road, - we feel like we’re under siege! Add to that the fact of beggars and the occasional homeless person on our streets and we can understand why people may not want to come to Kilbirnie to shop.  However, the fact is that we have lost up to 50% of our business these past 3 months  - and those sorts of losses just aren’t sustainable. 

Jo is chair of the Kilbirnie Business Network, which represents all Kilbirnie businesses, and in that role has made numerous submissions to the Wellington City Council and the Regional Council about the negative effects of all the above issues. One result is that there is now more of a concerted effort from social agencies to help the Kilbirnie street people.  We’re still lobbying about the other issues!

 

Car parking near the shop 

Most of our customers know that there’s 2 hour free parking in the Plaza.  (Enter off Rongotai Road beside Head Start hair salon and park anywhere that says 2 hours - including under the apartment building at the far end of the driveway). That’s very handy, but these days the carpark is often full.  With the cycleway up Crawford Road now going ahead, things will get worse. Those of us who are able-bodied should probably get used to parking further away from our destination (and congratulate ourselves on the exercise!) so that those who can’t easily walk any distance can park closer.  For the able-bodied, there’s the Aquatic Centre carparks, and the street parking near there, and of course the 2 big supermarket and Warehouse Stationery carparks, if you are also shopping at one of those places.  In school holidays, the car parks outside the primary school in Childers Terrace  are also free.  

 

2.5 % surcharge on credit cards 

Very much related to the previous items is that we are now passing on to customers the bank fee that we pay for customers’ use of credit cards.  A charge of the order of 2% may not seem much on an individual transaction but it can add up to many hundreds of dollars a month – which we can’t afford to absorb on top of the regular bank fees we are charged for electronic transactions and cash handling – and the various other fees we pay for the use of EFTPOS terminals, website purchases etc etc!!  Most of our customers use debit cards, which are equivalent to cash  and the best option for us, but please note that credit card purchases will now have 2.5% added to cover the additional fees we’re charged for those transactions.  

 

 

That’s it from us for 2018.  We wish you all a very happy holiday season.

Jo, Shirley, Prue, Gemma, Trish and Toni 


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