Wool shop set to expand
PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 July 2020
If you found yourself reaching for your knitting needles over lockdown you’re not alone, as Debby Cloud from Felixstowe-based business The Wool Baa explains.
While none of us would have chosen to go into lockdown to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, it did present the opportunity for many people to revisit a former hobby, or maybe start up a new one. As a result, knitting is experiencing a bit of a boom according to Debby Cloud of The Wool Baa.
“We’ve seen loads of new faces since we re-opened just over a month ago, and just before lockdown too, as people realised they’d have time to pick up knitting or crocheting again,” says Debby. “It’s great to see so many people trying something new or re-visiting a hobby that they enjoyed doing in the past but haven’t had the time to dedicate to it.”
A self-confessed wool hoarder, Debby was able to turn her lifelong ambition of owning a wool shop into a reality three years ago when she opened The Wool Baa in Hamilton Road in Felixstowe.
“I’ve knitted since I was seven, and I’d always dreamed of opening a little wool shop where people could come in and have a natter,” says Debby.
“My husband Daren thought it would calm my wool obsession down and mean less wool at home, but I just spot something in the shop I like and bring it home,” laughs Debby, who mainly makes toys, throws and blankets.
This was a skill which came in very handy during lockdown when Debby made some rainbow-coloured teddys and posted them on The Wool Baa’s Facebook page. She was inundated with orders and made about 120 in total which were sent out all over the country.
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While lockdown may have thrown hobbies into the spotlight, for Debby and Daren, who run the shop together, business had already been going really well. In fact, just before lockdown they received confirmation that long-running negotiations to purchase the old Post Office building in the town centre had been completed, setting the wheels in motion for the business to relocate.
“Within six months of opening we’d outgrown the shop on Hamilton Road,” explains Debby. “We always wanted to create a community, so the shop also has a café selling drinks, scones and cakes, plus we held regular knit and natter sessions. But we wanted to expand the workshops and start to sell sewing machines and a wider range of arts and crafts materials.”
The old Post Office building is four times bigger than the current shop, which will give Debby and Daren all the space they need, which includes expanding the café range to offer paninis and soups.
“With Daren helping out for the last couple of months and hopefully joining full time when the move happens, we also want to try and encourage more men into the shop, so we’ll be introducing model kits,” say Debby.
“We are raring to go. There’s no-where locally that has it all under one roof and it will allow us to start offering workshops again as we’ll have the space to social distance.”
Debby is hopeful that they’ll be in before Christmas once they’ve kitted out the new store. It will remain familiar to the current style, which has proved incredibly popular with customers and become a much-loved community hub.
Daren added: “We’re very excited - this has been going on for a number of years. The response has been very positive and we’re very grateful.
“But we couldn’t have done it without the support of our customers.”
For more information please visit their Facebook page.
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