I had a chat to Linda who has recently taken over the Wisbech Wool Shop. It’s on Union Street, which is just off the Market Place.
We are both excited by the creativity in Wisbech, and I hope to feature more of Linda’s ideas and projects as she settles in to the Wool Shop and makes it her own.
Here’s some of her thoughts which I wanted to get “out there” but couldn’t fit in to the article for the Citizen:
(my questions are prefixed LH, Linda’s answers, LU)
LH: Why did you take on the Wool Shop?
LU: Large retail chains just can’t match a good local independent shop for personal service and expertise. I love the history of the shop – it has been a knitting and needlecrafts shop for sixty years. We build a relationship with our regulars, some of whom have been coming since the 1950s. The ladies who work in the shop are real gems: experienced knitters and crafters, complete professionals. Most have worked there for many years. We take pride in what we do and do our best to meet the needs of customers. We really know our stuff and we have to – our customers are experts too! I love being around people who create. Who wouldn’t want a job like that?
LH: Are you a crafts person yourself?
LU: I love handmade. I’ve always got a project/several on the go. Recently I made a hand sewn king sized, paper pieced, hexagon quilt, several traditional jointed mohair teddy bears, clothing, bags, as well as LOTS of knitting and crochet. I try to keep up with my colleagues who wear their handmade creations in the shop. I love to see what customers have made, really beautiful creations.
LH: I love wool in any form, but is there anything else in the shop I’ll be tempted by?
LU: We don’t just sell yarn: we have tapestries, cross stitch, rug kits, needle felting supplies, embroidery threads, buttons, ribbons, zips – a proper haberdashery. People come from miles around for things that only we stock.
LH: The people in the shop were always so lovely and especially helpful, I’m pleased you’re continuing that tradition!
LU: My colleagues are a real asset. One of them has worked there since the 1980s, another has been there about a decade, so imagine my apprehension as new owner! I’ve recently taken on a new member of staff, I’m really proud of them all. When people don’t know how to knit or crochet, we show them on the spot, or ask them to come back when the shop isn’t busy. We don’t charge.
LH: What are your plans for the future?
LU: I’m compiling a list of names to start up a knit/crochet/craft group in the shop. We can all help and inspire each other. If anyone is interested in joining they can message me at www.facebook.com/wisbechwoolshop. The Wisbech Craft Centre also do a lot of courses for creative people. I recommend them. They love what they do too.
LH: Anything you’d like to add?
LU: I’m amazed by the handicrafts scene in Wisbech. I moved here from Brighton, a very creative place, but Wisbech takes the prize for sheer talent and craft skills. It’s a hotbed of creativity – craft groups and independent creative souls everywhere! It’s amazing.