REFLECTIONS ON 2.5 YEARS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
Time’s flown since Jo Morris bought the Wellington Sewing Centre in April 2016. We’ve changed the look and feel of the shop and love it when customers praise the quality of our stock and our staff’s knowledge, enthusiasm and friendliness. Those are the very qualities that set us apart from large impersonal stores and online businesses that have way more buying power than we do. We genuinely love going the extra mile to get the best results for our customers and we know that the service we provide is valued.
After 2.5 years, and with Jo having spent plenty of time and money publicising our stock and services, we firmly believe that word of mouth is the best advertisement for our shop. We would love it if all our happy customers sang our praises to all their friends! It’s a fact that the current retail environment is tough, especially in Kilbirnie right now - with its dug up streets (the new drains will stop the floods), the unfinished bus hub (which will be completed soon) and the about-to-be constructed cycleway (its construction will be disruptive and it will eat up some carparks). We definitely need more customers to ensure we remain part of the Wellington retail landscape, so if you love what we do, please spread the love!
GENERAL YARN ABOUT YARN
We’re constantly refreshing and enlarging our yarn collection and now have a terrific selection across the range of fibres (and prices) - acrylic, wool, cotton, bamboo, linen, mohair, viscose, llama, lyocell, merino, alpaca, silk, and various mixes of these.
NEW COTTONS AND OTHER SUMMERY YARNS
We’re getting ready for summer! An exciting selection of pure cotton, blended cotton/silk, and bamboo/wool yarns have just arrived! Perfect for knitted or crocheted women’s singlet tops and lightweight cardigans, baby outfits, cushion covers….
Our order of Rowan yarns was due in store this month but has been delayed by a few weeks. We’re sure it’s worth waiting for!
To make room for new stock we’ve discounted a good number of yarns - from luxury super chunky Misti Alpaca to 4 ply Debbie Bliss organic cotton – and lots of 100% wools, and other yarns, in between. Shop stock only – no orders. Be in quick!
YARN ON HOLD FOR CUSTOMERS – OUR POLICY
We don’t generally accept returns of yarn, for health reasons and because each batch of wool is unique and we can’t easily sell “orphan” balls from past batches. Instead, we’ll hold for you at the shop (in our customer drawers) some extra yarn that you might need for the project you’re working on. We ask that you let us know as soon as you can – within a month – whether you need that yarn so that, if you don’t, we can put it back on the shelf at a time when there’s a good chance there will still be enough of the same batch to sell for someone’s else’s project. If an “orphan” ball of yarn goes back into stock, we will very likely have to discount it to sell it.
Some customers want us to put aside much more than one or two balls of yarn, because they‘re working on a big project and to pay all at once for the yarn they need would be too expensive. So they want to pay for their yarn project in instalments – but we have no guarantee that they’ll need and pay for all the yarn they want put aside. We’ve considered refusing to put larger amounts of yarn on hold but will continue to do so as long as the customer pays for a good proportion of the yarn at the outset (at least half) and we’re confident they will use (and pay for) the rest of what they need before too long. We’ll continue to hold yarn for these customers after 4 weeks but the problem of “orphans” arises again – and sometimes it’s expensive yarns that are involved.
Quite often our “customer hold” drawers are bulging and we phone those who’ve had yarn on hold for more than a month, only to discover that many don’t need it - but they haven’t told us. To minimise this, we give customers our phone number and the date the yarn is put aside, and ask that they let us know within 4 weeks whether they still want the yarn held for them. That’s helped but we’re still having to do regular phone-arounds and finding that we have hundreds of dollars worth of orphan balls of yarn that we would’ve put back on the shelves weeks earlier, when their “families” were still there, if only we’d known!
The bottom line is that if all our yarn lover customers would phone us, as soon as possible and always within 4 weeks, to let us know what to do with yarn that we’ve put on hold for them, it’d save us time and money. Thanks for considering this!
Janome has introduced its first air threading overlocker, the AT2000D ($1599) and we love it! We have a demo model to show off and will be getting in more of the machines before too long – when the ship lands!
Recently, we created a section of our website for (mainly) sewing machine hardware items that we won’t be restocking, including some accessories for older model sewing machines and overlockers. Have a look. You never know, we might be selling off cheaply the very foot or needle plate you’ve always wanted!
Our 2018 class schedule continues to be full-on! Between now and year’s end we have these adult classes:
- OVERLOCKING LEVEL 2 : MAKE A WOMAN’S LONG-SLEEVED TOP - With Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse
- NEEDLE FELTING FOR BEGINNERS – MAKE A SHEEP! - With Janette Beech
- MACRAME FOR BEGINNERS - With Prue Hurndell
- EXPLORE YOUR COMPUTERISED SEWING MACHINE - With Shirley Mooney
- MACHINE SEW A 1930s-STYLE SLIP/ NIGHTGOWN - With Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse
- LEVEL 2 MACHINE SEW A CHILD’S PANELLED SUMMER DRESS - With Maria French
- OPEN SEW HALF DAY! - With Maria French
- BEGINNERS’ MACHINE SEW - With Maria French
- TRAPUNTO FOR BEGINNERS - With Shirley Mooney
- AMIGURUMI - CROCHET A KITTEN - With Prue Hurndell
- QUILT OPEN DAY
- BEGINNERS’ OVERLOCKER BOOTCAMP - With Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse
- FOLK EMBROIDERY - With Marjorie Thomas
After the popularity of our first Tunisian crochet class we’re doing it again - on Tuesday October 16 in the evening. If you can knit and crochet, enrol to learn this stylish hybrid craft! The photo is of a cowl and a cot blanket that tutor Shirley Mooney has made.
We have children’s school holiday classes coming up between October 1 to 12. The machine sewing classes have filled up – both levels 1 and 2 – but we may be able to offer another level 1 class if there’s enough demand! The good news is that there’s still space in the 2 handcraft classes for age 8+ taught by our very own (big kid) Prue Hurndell :
Make Halloween bunting using pom poms and tassle techniques - Wednesday and Thursday Oct 3 and 4, 9.30am to 12 noon both days ($60, includes all materials); and
Handsew a trinket box with plastic canvas, adhesive felt, and longstitched Kawaii designs, Thursday and Friday October 11 and 12, 1.30 to 4.00pm both days ($65, includes all materials).
PATTERNS – DRESSMAKING, KNITTING AND CROCHET
We’re very proud of our excellent selection of patterns for dressmaking (Papercut, StyleArc and SewOverIt) and the hundreds of leaflets and scores of books of knitting and crochet patterns that we have in stock. Sometimes we don’t have the yarn that’s used in a pattern (our new gorgeous Langyarns pattern books are examples) usually because the yarn is too expensive or not readily available. However, we can always work out for you which yarns and quantities will work instead.
OPEN QUILT/SEW DAYS
We’ve had a few open quilt/sew Sundays this year and there’s another one scheduled for Sunday November 4. The idea is that people can bring along their unfinished projects (plus machines and whatever else they need), get guidance from one or more of our staff and have fun working alongside others in the spaciousness of the shop. For the 6 hours from 10am to 4pm we’ve been charging $60 a head - or $40 if people can only stay for 4 hours. Bookings are essential! If you’re interested in being part of an Open Sew/Quilt Sunday on November 4 or another Sunday before the end of the year, let us know (email is good – to email@example.com) and we’ll do what we can to accommodate you.
Christmas isn’t far away and our Christmas craft cottons will soon be supplemented by more! (Imagine how we felt last February, having just survived Christmas 2017, and sweltering in the summer heat, when our fabric reps turned up with the first of their Christmas 2018 fabrics and we had to choose then and there or miss out!)
EFTPOS/DEBIT CARD VERSUS CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS
Have you noticed our shop counter signs that say we don’t accept credit cards for purchases under $50? The reason is that we have to pay a percentage of every credit card transaction to a company that confirms the cardholder to be trustworthy. Limiting the number of credit card transactions in the shop saves us hundreds of dollars each month, which is significant for us. Some smaller retailers don’t accept credit cards at all – and we’ve thought of doing that too – but for now at least we’re staying with the $50 “rule” because many of the transactions in the shop are for amounts under $50, so customers are more likely to be able to pay for them then and there, but they add up to quite large amounts on which we’d otherwise lose a percentage. By contrast with credit card payments, debit card payments – which come directly out of customers’ bank accounts - don’t cost us a percentage fee. That’s why we’re always happy to be paid with a debit card, including for purchases over $50. As always we look forward to seeing you in the shop soon!
WOW WINDOW DRESSING COMPETITION!
We’ve entered this competition again (vote for us!) which starts Thursday 20 September and runs to October 14. This year WOW’s colour palette is deep blue, purple and silver and we’ve had fun collecting a range of items and garments in those hues. Early on, Jo invited St Catherine’s school to join in our efforts and 2 girls - Mya and Reema - volunteered and (thanks to Gemma) we came up with the theme for our display : a dance in outer space.(!!) Mya and Reema have made a glam, other-worldly creation – which counts as part of their school work – and Jo has cobbled together all sorts of alien type costumes and props! The crowning glory (literally) of one mannequin will be an elaborate silver toast rack lent by one of our fave customers! Come and see our window from 20 September – and we can give you a map with all the WOW window displays noted on it.
Best wishes – Jo, Shirley, Prue, Gemma, and Trish