Miscellenia

Support your local craft and fabric stores!

Wellington is a very crafty city: for it’s population, it’s full of craft and fabric stores.  There are booming craft markets every weekend, and incredibly popular Fabric-A-Brac sales a couple of times a year.

And yet, for all the apparent crafty fabulosity, the Wellington craft scene is rather precariously positioned.  Four wonderful fabric stores have closed (or are on the brink of closing) shop in the last quarter.  We’ve lost Arthur Toyes and the Asia Gallery, and Sherazad Silks and Piece by Piece are both in the last weeks of their closing down sales.

The Great Wellington Craft CrawlBeautiful fabrics at Piece by Piece

With Piece by Piece gone there are no craft stores in Karori.  The loss of Arthur Toyes and Sheherezad leaves Made on Marion Lambton Quay as the only craft store in the CBD, with a few on the outskirts in the Cuba Precinct and down Thorndon Quay and Old Hutt Road.  And Asia Gallery was pretty much the only vintage fabric seller in town, so they leave a big hole.

The Great Wellington Craft CrawlGorgeous kimono at the Asia Gallery

I’m in fabric and craft stores a lot, and I buy a lot and chat to the owners, and the story is the same with most craft and fabric stores in town: they are feeling the pinch.  Sales are down, and times are tight.

The economy is in Wellington is depressed, and that’s part of the problem, but the big culprit is the internet.  More and more people are buying their craft supplies off the internet for cheaper prices and a bigger selection.

Now, I love the internet: it is, after all, my platform.  But as a replacement for local craft and fabric stores?  Nope.  Most suppliers are pretty big and impersonal.  Many of them don’t give you any instructions and guidance on how to use your product.  Many, many online fabric stores don’t know much at all about fabrics (like the time I ordered an ottoman and received a ribbed knit and when I complained they said “Look, it has a rib, so it’s an ottoman”).  You can’t feel things online, you can’t trial them online.  You can’t pet the silks and squeeze the wool and snip the scissors and check the weight of the crochet hooks in your hands.  And all of those things are so important when you make things.

Wellington Craft Crawl thedreamstress.comPetting the silks at Sherazad

Beyond these things, local suppliers provide a community.

Popping in to any craft and fabric store in Wellington on any given day I can expect to see a sewing friend, a fellow teacher, a former student.  Stopping by The Fabric Warehouse the staff greet me by name, happily show me whatever I’m after on that day, and give me short lengths of silk they got sent as samples.  At Made on Marion I see people sitting on the couches having tea and a chat, while whoever is at the counter is explaining how to use dyes, or showing off the new embroidery colours, or offering to order in a special product.  Over at  Knit World there are ladies in the comfy chairs, knitting away.  In Wellington Sewing Services someone is trying out every single sewing machine, and the staff asks about my latest event, and tell me about textile exhibitions I might be interested in.

It’s the same in every craft store in Wellington: I support them, and treat them like friends and teachers, and they support my crafty endeavors, and treat me like a friend and a valued customer.

Wellington Craft Crawl thedreamstress.comSewing supplies at Nancys

Even with the internet, people are still using local craft stores.  But they aren’t supporting them.  How?  I’ve seen women in quilting fabric shops, comparing prints and colours, and feeling fabric, and then heard them comment as they left, purchaseless “I can get them online so much cheaper, but I just needed to see and feel them in person before I bought.”  I’ve heard of people going into craft and sewing machine shops, asking how they use a particular product or piece of equipment they had, and then mentioning that they bought theirs over the internet, but weren’t given any instructions.

Ladies (and the occasional gentleman) please don’t expect your local sewing and craft stores to supply the deficiencies of the internet without supporting them!

And please, please, please do support your local stores.  Sure, you may often pay a bit more, but you get so much more!  Build a relationship with your local fabric store and they will show you new pieces they have in that are in your style.  Most local shops will throw in an extra 20cm or so with each cut of fabric.  Online suppliers cut exact amounts.  Local stores have local experts who can tell you how to use each product, so not only do you get the product, you get knowledge and support.  When you actually consider what you receive, shopping locally becomes much more cost effective.

Personal assistance at Made on MarionPersonal assistance at Made on Marion

I hear terrible sad stories from sewing friends online, of communities where there are no fabric stores for two hours drive, or where the only place to get any sewing notions is Walmart (or is it KMart?).  And I look at the fantastic craft world I have locally, and I feel so bad for places without that, and I think how awful it would be if Wellington were to loose any more stores, how terrible it would be if we only had the internet.  If that happens, we’ll have only ourselves to blame.

So if you are here in Wellington, or somewhere else with a local craft scene, get out there and support your local stores.  Get to know the owners (if you don’t already).  See what they have in stock (you might be surprised about how much is on offer.  Find out what they have to teach and share (a lot!).  Make an effort to keep them in your community!

Wellington Craft Crawl thedreamstress.comThe amazing selection at The Fabric Store

51 Comments

  1. Lyndle says

    Great post! I totally agree. The only fabrics I buy online (from Emma One Sock) are good quality printed rayon knits, which I can seldom find in Wellington, though Arthur Toyes used to have a few. We have been lucky for our size with our sellers and I do my utmost (well more than I should for my rate of sewing) to support them.

    I think this goes for all local stores – I try really hard with bookstores too, even though with no gst and free shipping it is tempting to get them from overseas, and I get twitchy when I hear someone say they got advice on shoes from a local store then bought them on the internet. If we don’t use them we will lose them.

    I have a sad heart whenever I pass not-Arthur-Toyes – for 15 years it has been my happy place to go in a lunch hour on a bad day. (I did *once* manage to go in without buying anything). And both AT and The Fabric Store have awesome staff who really know their stock and what to do with it. (I seldom make it down to the Fabric Warehouse but they are awesome too).

  2. I totally agree with you. I live a good two hour drive from decent fabric stores. We have Joann’s down the street but the employees are just that, employees. They can’t answer questions very often. And the fabrics are mostly fleece and quilting fabrics. But not the quality of Quilting fabrics that I would use for quilting; the quilts would not survive any length of time. Yet I would rather go to these stores and pet the fabric and buy there as well. Shop local!

  3. What a gorgeous array of silks! We don’t have anything like that in America, at least not in the places where I have lived. I went to a few stores today and the selection is sadder than ever. Over 90% synthetics. Not even much of anything pretty.
    Laurie

    • Ugh, me too. I live in a smallish Canadian city that has one Fabricville (which is a chain store). It’s mostly overpriced synthetics or blends. There is the occasional nice cotton twill, but the selection is generally quite pathetic. I have never seen silk taffeta there, or 100% wool anything. Blending polyester with wool should be illegal.

      If there was a silk shop like that here I would provide them with as much business as I could. How grand it must be to choose from more than just dupioni.

      Using local shops to figure out what you want to buy on the internet just sounds wrong. I couldn’t ever do that, it would feel absolutely horrible.

      • Whenever I can find 100% natural fiber fabric that I like, I do buy it. Then the person cutting usually tries to talk me out of it and steers me to their linen/polyester blend which is cheaper and doesn’t need to be ironed. I tell them I buy the 100% linen for the quality and the employee has no idea what I’m talking about. I explain how it is more durable, it doesn’t pill after 3 washings, and I can form creases in it and make pleats and tucks galore with it. They tell me they are phasing out of 100% linen in favor of more polyester.
        Also I live and these stores are located near a major American battlefield where historical reenactments have been known to occur. I buy lots of 100% linens and cottons for different projects, which they usually talk me out of. Turns out they are not at all familiar with historical clothing, which surprises me a bit.
        They usually argue with me about many of my selections or projects, so I pull out my smart phone to show them extant gowns on-line.
        These are big chain stores, so even so the employees are getting a wee bit of new information from me, they aren’t the ones making the decisions. =(

        Laurie

        • How dare they speak that way about 100% linen! And trying to talk you out of quality fabrics, how incredibly rude!

          The employees in my local fabric store say things like “yeah, the selection is crap, isn’t it? I wish we could get more natural fibers but we have no say in what gets ordered. Someone at head office chooses everything.”
          I wonder if they would let me make special orders if I bought the whole bolt.

        • Your chain store sounds awful, Laurie. Sometimes it’s helpful when retailers suggest alternative products, but only when the retailer knows what they’re talking about. Trying to sell a customer something they clearly don’t want is very rude in my opinion.

        • Tinny says

          From a sales point of view, I find it absolutely ridiculous that they would ever want to talk you out of buying the more expensive stuff 😀 Shouldn’t the sales people just be happy that the shop’s making money out of you?

          Also, shame on anyone who thinks linen+polyester is awesome over 100% linen!

  4. Well said and thank you for promoting the support of local fabric and craft shops! We just started our shop in Adelaide, South Australia almost a year ago. We’re doing okay and have a lot of gorgeous loyal customers but yeah, there is still the element you mention, and we’re not sure if we’ll be able to survive (and make some sort of living from it) long term. I hope you don’t mind if I share this post on our business Facebook page! – Jane from The Drapery, Adelaide

  5. Fashionista says

    I’m with you! Support your local stores, in everything, not just craft supplies. I have bought fabric online once, because I got suckered into the pretty pictures. Never again. What I received wasn’t quite what was represented and I had zero recourse. Not to mention I now have fabric languishing in my stash that I don’t quite know what to do with (although never fear I’m sure I will come up with a project eventually :)). I have purchased seam binding supplies online because I haven’t managed to find a supplier locally. But I will keep looking.

  6. Only today I went to Made Marion and discovered that they stock the exact same linen tapestry warp I’d just ordered off the internet. D’oh! Won’t be making that mistake again. I’m quite excited that Made Marion now has a store in a location I can walk to in my lunch break.

    I do try to support local businesses where possible, and there are some things I refuse to buy online because I can’t feel or see them for myself. I’m very sad about the passing of AT’s, Asia Gallery, and Sherazade, and the plain fact is that it is all a matter of customer support. And here’s the thing: sometimes it is cheaper to buy online, but not always. When you buy online you usually have to pay shipping, and if you’re shipping from the USA to Wellington, that is really going to cost you. So even if the product costs less, the overall cost can end up being higher. And sometimes the product isn’t cheaper. That linen I bought was actually more expensive than Made Marion’s product.

    Besides, if you spend less online for a product that turns out not to have a nice feel, or the colour is totally different from what you saw on your computer screen, have you really saved money?

  7. I will always go to Fabric Vision, Haralds or Stitch over Spotlight or Lincraft here as they’re locally owned and friendly. I have bought stuff from the internet before now, but it’s usually things I can’t get here.
    I can’t wait till The Fabric Store reopens here; have really missed them since the quakes.
    The guy at Haralds always asks me what I’m making and how my historical clothing is going, he’s always helpful when it comes to finding suitable fabric for my next project too.

    • I remember the guy at Haralds. He was always so friendly. I still have a gorgeous purple linen he showed me when I wandered in with Mum looking, as I always did then, for linens. I may have bought everything that was left on the bolt, because the gorgeous and the friendly.

  8. If local stores offered what I wanted to buy, I’d consider it. They don’t. I shop online. Having local community benefits me very little if I can’t get the supplies I need.

    • A good point. There’s no reason to shop at stores that don’t stock anything you want to buy. If I was in your position I’d be shopping online too.

  9. It is a great post and I really, really wish to agree and really, really wish to support our own local shop. But sometimes it’s terribly difficult. Like when they have no cotton thread and tell me it’s no longer made. I Like when all four or how many attendants gather around me to wonder what soutache is, and the only person who seems to have a clue describes a type of piping. So I had no other choice than to buy it online from an unfeeling chain.
    I stuck to them for months, I think, before they got my size bra bones, and then they had one pair. Which I dutifully bought. I guess this, in particular, is an illustration of your argument, though: if no one buys the boning, they have no reason to order it.

    I plan on going back and showing them the soutache so they know what I was talking about. And while I’ll be there, I’ll buy some zippers or something.

  10. Ooh that rack of gold silks is so delicious! I used to manage Sherazad, nearly 20 years ago now, and I have forgotten how happy those horizontal racks of graded colour made me feel. I even named a fair number of those dupions.
    Thank you for this post – I’ve had a run lately of people sneering that they could get it on the internet (cheers, thanks for that), or running in to get something because they had ordered it on the internet and it hadn’t arrived on time. A false economy indeed!

    • I can remember going into Sherazad for the first time maybe 20 years ago when I was a kid (mum sews; that’s where I get it from), and being utterly enthralled by the racks and racks of beautiful coloured silks. Silk takes dye so beautifully.

  11. Claire says

    Here! Here! As someone who lives somewhere with only chain store craft suppliers who sell cheap and nasty fabric, I would love to support a local quality fabric store. The Fabric Store has been rumoured to be returning soon and that will be my only real source of fabric. Despite the lack of stores locally, I do not buy fabric on line because of the reasons you give. You can’t feel them, compare or get a true representation of the colour or drape online which ultimately leads to costly mistakes so I wouldn’t really save money.

  12. Claire says

    I would also like to comment that getting things online is getting more expensive because of the often prohibitive postal charges. I would have ordered some patterns in the US but the postage cost so much it wasn’t worth me buying them. Fabric is weighty and the postage would surely be extortionate.

  13. Oh yes! Brilliant post!!

    I believe quite strongly in buying locally, and supporting small businesses. After all, if we didn’t, all we’d have left would be the big, soulless chain stores that are fully focussed on profit, usually at the expense of quality, and all variety would be gone as only the ‘most popular’ things (or most profitable!) would be available, with the same things stocked in every town. (Hmmm… kinda like those ‘fast fashion’ clothing stores, right?!?)

    Sure, I’ll buy things online sometimes. But only if I can’t find them locally.

  14. Thank you for writing this!!!

    Buying local and supporting small businesses is so important. Nothing beats the service and knowledge at a good local shop.

  15. ajtextiles.shopfactory.comI was just at my local fabric store yesterday supporting them 🙂 oh yes, it gives me a warm rosy glow of satisfaction knowing my purchases do more than just make me happy (and my husband slightly irritated by more stuff coming into the house, but at least I use it). I’ll always support a local shop rather than just buying online, but if you have to buy online, it’s worth shopping around, not just resorting to the big well known stores. For example my small independent local fabric store also sells online!
    http://www.ajtextiles.shopfactory.com/index.html
    They don’t have a huge range, but they are cheap and sometimes have great stock as they buy surplus rolls and old stock. Because of this they don’t always know the fibre content, but they are quite happy to snip off a sample which you can do a test on. The website seems to only list regular stock, but they say to just ask if you want something not listed. I scored some lovely striped linen for £3.40/m 1.5m wide! Just need to decide what it wants to be now 🙂
    If I want suitable fabric for historical clothes, the best source is the re-enactment markets and some of the sellers there also sell online, so really the UK is not a bad place to live for fabric supplies.

  16. There are not a lot of local sewing stores near me but there is one I like frequent. Alas, they pretty much only sell quilting cottons. 🙁 But I still try to go there if I need thread or needles or something rather than a chain store.

  17. Elise says

    Thank you for this post! Very timely as having a baby presents you with all sorts of opportunities to buy local–or off the Internet. The husband and I try to follow this hierarchy:
    1) Local first
    2) Chain stores with good pay and benefits for employees (Trader Joe’s, Costco)

    Never Walmart, Sam’s or other abusive businesses, anti-gay, anti-Semitic (Hobby Lobby)

    It takes a balance nowadays. But it’s too important not to try!

    • Now there’s a good point! I’m choosy about which businesses I support, based on the company’s ethics. I don’t like to give my money to bigots or people who exploit their workers.

      • Elise says

        We should get (organic and fair trade) coffee sometime. Well-paying chain-retail work also makes sure that more of the dollars spent stay in the local area from those good wages. As if we need more reason to buy ethically!

        But there is a balance there, too. What if a local shop is selling a fabric that is beautiful and high-quality, but wasn’t so environmentally friendly? While it would be easy to say ‘You can’t win’, I like to think of it as ‘Win as often as you can.’

  18. Wow, it sounds like most of you have good local stores that you’re already patronizing. That’s great! I’m not sure I fully understand the importance of “local” over “small,” particularly when the local stores don’t stock what I need, or are “local” in that I have to drive 45-60 miles to shop.

    Most of my fabric shopping is online, but just as much if not more from small online businesses as from large online businesses. When I need nice silk and wool, I go to Burnley and Trowbridge, or Wm Booth, Draper. I choose to support small businesses that happen to not be remotely local, because they have what I need. I don’t have the luxury of driving 100+ miles on the off chance an area story has something I need.

  19. Lylassandra says

    This is an area where my tendency to dive right in to any project has value– I’m usually much too impatient to wait for fabric online! =) But like some of the other commenters, there are few craft stores around me that aren’t big chains full of synthetics. I tend to use the internet for making up the deficiencies of Joann’s, instead of the other way around.

    About the only thriving fabric scene in my area is quilting. My mom’s a quilter, and there are easily a dozen shops around the county. The closest, Rosie’s, is always full– because of the community. (And the giant box of buttons where moms traditionally park there kids while they shop. Twenty years ago I was the one being parked; now I’m the one doing the parking. Cue “Circle of Life”!)

  20. I don’t have the courage to buy fabric online – can’t feel it! – but it does bug me when the Hutt shops seem to have a huge range of quilting cottons, evening dress fabric & (eeurgh) polyester, but lack the more ‘basic’ fabrics. Cotton drill, for example.
    I often can’t find just what I want, but I can usually find something that’ll do. I guess that makes it all the sweeter when I do find something that’s Just Right!

    • That annoys me terribly, too. And it’s not just the “Hutt” shops – I observe a similar phenomenon even in one of the better, family-owned shops I know. (They’re definitely better than what you describe in that they have woollens – even 100% wool, even some kashmere content – and lots more rayon.) Cotton drill is the perfect example: it took me about six months, if not more, before I found basic white drill/twill weave cotton for pants that I originally wanted to make for one of the HSF challenges last year. 😀 Plain white cotton in general is unbelievably hard to find!
      And linen and lightweight woollens are practically nonexistant. Want pants? Have some polyester! Eugh.

      • Ratti Magnifika says

        giggle, bet I know which Hutt shop you mean…I’m in the Hutt as well, our choices are so limited here. It’s worth the trip into Town to grope the fabric at some better stores. I’m gutted about Toyes and Sherazad as well. When I lived up country I used to travel down here or to Palmerston North just to visit Toyes.
        Mostly I keep an eye open in Op shops now, I get interesting fabrics that can be very good quality and often vintage for very little.

  21. Zach says

    I happen to live in the “Quilt Capital of the World”–Paducah–and our stores are pretty limited, but even when you find a store, it sells practically nothing but quilting fabric or cheap polyester. A friend of mine told me that the local Hancock’s used to sell all manner of fabrics, but they eventually switched to selling exclusively quilting or upholstery selections (and that was, unfortunately, before my time). I understand that their main customers are quilters (especially during the quilt show every year–it draws people from EVERYWHERE), and they have to cater to the demand, but I do wish I had access to nice fabrics–especially silks. How are you supposed to compare fabrics you can’t feel and examine in person? It would be nice to be a part of a community where I could have access to all that.

  22. Hi! I liked your post very much. I live in Brazil, in a city where we have a few places to buy craft things, but the prices are just unfair. Most of them just import things and double (ou triple!) the price. The fabrics get more expensive every semester. And meanwhile our fabric industry in going down. It is very, very sad. I have a couple of stores I like pretty much because of what you say – people become your friend and support you, take doubts, these types of things. But I do have to confess that I still think like they’re taking advantage of the people that don’t know what the things they buy really costs. :/

  23. We have two stores where I live that call themselves fabric stores. One only carries ugly polyesters and curtain fabrics, and when I went there in desperate need of a twill fabric they looked at me as if I was crazy. The other one is almost exclusively quilting cottongs, but at least it carries a pretty good selection of ribbons and beads so I try to go by there when I need some small things.

    Whenever I’m in another town and happen to pass by a fabric store I tend to come out with some fabric, just because I’m so happy that it’s actually possible to feel the fabric before buying it.

  24. I’m going to wade into this with a slightly different point of view.

    I do think that local stores provide a great point of community interaction, and on that score it would be a huge shame to see them go. However, as a young crafter (I’ve been quilting for about 8 years and I’m still in my 20’s), the reception I get in local shops is not always welcoming (in fact, it’s often downright frosty). It’s incredibly disheartening and off-putting when that happens, and it means that I don’t get the community aspect that these shops seem to offer other people. (Side note – having been around for a while I now know a lot of the staff and owners of the Wellington quilt shops and they are now great, but I don’t think you should have to be a known regular customer to get good service!). So my policy is only to support local shops that actually treat me nicely.

    I love modern quilting fabrics and often things that I’ve seen online are simply not stocked in New Zealand. So that’s a big reason I buy online.

    The price is also a big factor – even with shipping, fabric from the US is far cheaper than in NZ. Let’s get real – the fabric shops might be doing it tough but that’s reflective of the overall economy, and people are inevitably going to look at price as a factor in their purchasing decisions.

    I think craft shops really need to think about how to differentiate themselves from online shops (and I think there are lots of positive ways they can do this). If they do this, and do it successfully, I think it will actually be better for us as crafting consumers as we will get better service from the local shops.

    Overall, I think I agree with you, but I do think that local craft shops are going to need to up their game in terms of service (and specifically, welcoming the next generation of crafters) to compete with online shops.

  25. I asked you on Facebook why you thought the stores closed…I should have come here first 😉 I do use my local stores because I’m a shopper that needs to handle what I buy. I bought wool once on line. What a disappointment. It was way thicker than I expected and felt like a scrub brush knitted up. I’m also a person who has trouble with delayed gratification. When I buy something, I like to haul it home NOW! Never again. That being said, I have to work with the much higher prices of the craft stores. As I said on facebook, real silk is $50 a meter here. By the time it comes down in price, there is only half a meter left (so someone (brides?) is paying that price) or it is a terrible color I can’t wear. I can get silk at a more reasonable price if I do a three day driving trip to the states. But, any money saved is lost in gas, food and hotel bills. That trip will rarely happen unless I want to make a mini vacation out of it.

  26. I’ll be controversial and say that I LOVE shopping at my local Spotlight.

    It is huge, well laid out, airy, clean as a whistle, and staffed by a bunch of women who just love sewing. They know where all their bolts are (always with the tag and label still firmly affixed) and while they don’t all know the finer points of textiles, they are very helpful and experienced.

    We always discuss patterns and fabric choices and projects at the cutting table. Also, they have a ‘take a number’ system for cutting, which makes it so much more pleasant.

    The pattern filing cabinets are open to the public to browse! There’s a box for you to return patterns you don’t want, and they re-file them at the end of the day. So you can check out yardage, notions and fabric recommendations at your leisure.

    They have some pretty damn fine sales and I have got some true gems from the clearance table.

    Admittedly this is the only Spotlight I’ve ever been to that has been like this, all the others are filthy crowded hellholes staffed by disgruntled middle aged women.

    They don’t have luxury fabrics. Their stuff doesn’t change much. But the small fabric shops in town have nasty polyester and hideous 80’s printed cottons. Why would I go anywhere else?

  27. Janet Druggitt says

    Where I live in the uk, it is 10 miles to my nearest fabric store,I don’t do much sewing now as I hate buying fabric online,I have bought quite a bit and when it arrives it is not what I thought is was going to be, it is very frustrating.I understand that if fabric stores are not being fully supported they can’t keep a full stock,they have a living to make and can’t keep buying stock if no one is buying it. It is the same with all stores.The internet and large supermarkets are killing small local stores.

  28. I cannot fathom buying fabric and other crafting supplies online. But I also don’t buy clothing online. I’m too afraid of it being all wrong.

  29. I totally agree with you!
    Here in Italy it’s the same: good places are cloosing and a lot of people buy on the net.
    In my opinion, for fabrics, the net is my last hope, but only if I can’t find anything.
    Some weeks ago I drive something like 150 km, visiting 3 different shops only to find the perfect fabric for a skirt.
    Maybe I’m mad, but that makes the difference I think!

    Lisa

  30. Nat says

    You missed my favourite Wellington yarn store – Holland Road Yarn! They’re in Grand Arcade on Willis, and in Petone, and I make sure I visit them every time I’m in Wellington. Next trip, I’m definitely checking out Made on Marion too.

    • I know! There were a lot of stores to cover and mention, so I couldn’t get them all in. I don’t knit, so don’t spend a lot of time at Holland Road, though they are lovely.

  31. knitty says

    You went to wellington but didn’t visit Holland Road Yarn?

    They’re wonderful and locally owned / operated etc!

    Thanks for the lovely blog post!

  32. Please don’t forget about Wellington Sewing Services and Stitchbird in Kilbirnie for sewing and craft supplies and fabric.

  33. I totally agree and oh that’s so sad there is nothing in karori anymore. I remember when the yarn shop first opened and it was like, hooray i can pop down to the shops and pick up a zip or some thread. So yes we should all not only be shopping locally but also promoting, so thank you for this wonderful post.

    but you missed 2 magnificent stores that are locally owned and operated, places where you will find the owner in the shop. Sadly something you’ll never find at knitworld, which i’d put in the same category as spotlight.

    Minerva in Cuba Street
    Anne and MaryAnn are just amazing supporters of creativity
    Anne also publishes New Zealand Quilter magazine

    Holland Road Yarn Company in Willis St where you find Tash the owner on days she’s not in the Petone shop
    none on the outskirts of the CBD

    Also If you go to the Underground Markets on a Saturday you can also pick up Fabric from Lyndy of Stitchbird who has a weekly stall I’m lucky moving to miramar that her shop and Wellington sewing services are just a few bus stops away

  34. An amazing article! You are spot on, the biggest benefit is community. I run a local craft & workshop store in Christchurch, and today we had a husband & wife in, using our machines to sew a quilt for family overseas, it was so great chatting to them and finding out why they are crafting! Then a nurse up from Ashburton who just came to chill & crochet because she had just been to a memorial service for her friend and she needed to just distract herself! I get such a warm feeling when things like this happen, this is community, this is sharing something in common and this is making a cup of tea for someone who really needs one!

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