This is our team - wrapped in quilts for an ad in NZ Quilter magazine.
From back left:
Youhan Khosho (fashion student, casual assistant), Lisa Avery (woman of many talents, casual assistant),
Jo Morris (owner/manager), Prue Hurndell (assistant manager),
Trish McCarthy (part time assistant), Shirley Mooney (assistant manager)
and at front
Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse (fulltime retail assistant) and Kylie Velloen (part-time admin assistant).
Our motto is Do What You Love - and we love what we're doing! Jo bought the business in April 2016 and since then we've all worked jolly hard to freshen up the triple-sized shop and its huge stock of machines, parts and accessories, yarn, haberdashery, fabrics, craft supplies and more.
Here's our flash new counters, and Prue looking busy! The drawer unit behind her holds our stock of spare machine parts and accessories, and the walls are well-utilised for displays of garments made in our classes and quilts made by Shirley and customers.
Outside the shop, a line of concrete pillars hold up the glass verandah roof and from the outset Jo was determined to pretty them up! And a metal seat outside. Now every pillar outside the shop, and the seat, has its own cover, which we put out on sunny days and take in at night. They are quite a talking (and laughing) point for passers-by.
Inside the shop, in the "machine room" - which occupies about a quarter of our total floor space - we stock NZ's largest range of domestic machines and overlockers. Between our permanent staff - Shirley, Prue, Gemma and Trish - we have expertise in all our machines' many features, including those of the latest computerised embroidery and quilting machines.
During the past year, we've introduced a full programme of classes in all manner of crafty things. Shirley, Prue and Gemma teach evening or weekend classes in quilting, crochet and overlocking (respectively) and other tutors come in to teach machine sewing (for adults and children) knitting, weaving, embroidery and more.
The classroom, upstairs in the shop, is a real asset, allowing people to learn in comfort and away from distractions. We also run classes (knitting and crochet) in the "wool room" (once a separate shop) and hold a weekly knit and natter group there.
The shop is situated in a pedestrian plaza in Kilbirnie (a suburb just a few kilometres from Wellington's CBD), and is very close to a good range of supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, beauty salons, cafes, a Farmers store, a Ballentynes store, the Children's Bookshop, Stitchbird, Robyn Mathieson - and more. There's 2 hour free parking in the plaza carpark and Kilbirnie is the hub for the city's bus system so is very accessible by public transport. All this has contributed to the shop's community feeling: we have a diverse range of customers and a growing number of regulars who regard the shop as their "go-to-place". We're proud to be giving back to our community: we've donated fabric, haberdashery, and the occasional gift voucher to a number of local charity projects.
Our machine repair and service work is done by a licensed repair person (based offsite) whose turnaround time is often just 1 week. We can access a full range of machine parts and accessories for the brands we sell, including for older models.
We're always interested in feedback from customers about the shop, the website, things you'd like us to have in stock, classes you'd like us to run - whatever you want us to do differently to help you Do What You Love.