Right from the start up phase of Rose B. Brown I knew that I would want part time work alongside running my own creative business. I quickly came to realise how beneficial it is to leave the studio and switch off from business mode to keep ideas fresh and to continue loving what I do. I would also miss working closely with others, colleagues become good friends and that is definitely something special that I have taken from all my past jobs.
From the moment I set my eyes on the small haberdashery with it’s dark grey façade, and neat line of colourful deck chairs out the front, I was adamant that that was the place for me. And so, with a little bit of persistence I wiggled in and started my new role as haberdasher at Ray Stitch.
I grew up with a professional pattern cutter and keen seamstress as a mother, which meant that I was always being left to amuse myself in various haberdasheries while she searched for Bias tapes and Bodkins. This must have been at a time just before they started to close and the 90’s took a hold of fast fashion, cheap clothes and overseas manufacture. Now, I’m relieved to witness first hand, a resurgence in dress making and an increasing interest in sewing. It’s really not surprising that this is the case since it is a past time that offers not only enjoyment through learning a new skill but is also a means to bypass the high street shops (a personal dreaded inevitability) to make something unique and lovely to wear, or use or sit on!
Ray Stitch is the ideal shop to whet your sewing appetite, if you are of a contemporary and more understated taste then the fabrics that will greet you will be very pleasing. Most patterned materials are imported from Japan and are the epitome of stylish, other plain fabrics are all woven from natural fibres and offer a wide range of colour choice including a selection of rather sophisticated greys.
Aside from all the tempting cloth there is something else quite special about this shop. Like moths to a flame, Ray Stitch draws in a wide variety of inspirational and creative customers with all sorts of questions and requests, which makes my life as a haberdasher consistently interesting and engaging. It is a continuous learning curve!
It is perhaps an inevitability for a place such as Ray Stitch to acquire equally interesting staff, each one of my colleagues have enviable skills and talents that are connected by craftsmanship and creative processes. I would like to share with you the work of Beatrice Larkin, a weaver who designs the most beautiful throws and cushion covers. She is a fellow small business owner who bestows her weaving wisdom on the Ray Stitch community. We are hoping to soon create a collective of designers and makers to showcase our own disciplines during the London Design Festival and continuing throughout 2015 – more details to follow!