Friday, 29 January 2016

The ethel and edna Annual 2016

Well blog posts seem to be a yearly thing with me so the title seemed quite fitting.  I'm nothing if not consistent!

Seriously, I do hope to get a bit more 'on it' now as I shall have a lot more time to spend on the 'interwebs'.  We have sadly said goodbye to The Sewing Shop and closed the doors one last time.  Trade had really dropped off considerably, our rates were set to increase by £200 per month and as we were due to renew our lease we decided that ultimately we weren't making any money and it was not worth risking another 2 year stint.  The world wide web has finally beaten us. 

We could have set up our own website and run a mail order business, but that would have meant a total pricing restructure, and probably made the 'bricks and mortar' shop pointless.  As so many other traders know, you can run a mail order business from your own home, so why go to the vast expense of a business premises?

We had built up a fabulous community spirit within the shop - something which we always wanted.  Many of our customers liked to come in just because it was so bright and lovely  They became friends as well as customers.  This is fine until we reached the point where most people that crossed the threshold were coming in for a chat and not to actually spend any money.  Victims of our own success in that respect.

We will miss them all but at the end of the day we were a business and there to make money.  We didn't want a fortune, but after 4 years of paying ourselves less than minimum wage for very long hours and lots of sleepless nights...It couldn't go on.

But looking forward...

ethel and edna will be resurrected in the coming weeks and months.  I shall be moving out of the spare room and into a fantastic glorified shed/workshop in the garden.  It will be fully insulated, have loads of light and moving into it will give me a great opportunity to sort out my ridiculous hoard of fabrics, yarns, threads, notions and haberdashery and get organised.  I predict a destash sale in the not too distant future.

I also have many bolts of fabulous fabrics left over from the shop which will be sold online.  And I hope to sell some heavenly haberdashery too - both the basics and some more special bits.  No longer will I need to be ordering bra extenders and shoulder pads for customers. Instead I can search our suppliers' websites and catalogues, and at the trade shows for the frivolous and the fabulous rather than the utilitarian. 

Finally, I am so desperate to get my making mojo back in gear.  After 4 years of not being able to properly flex my creative fingers, I am itching to get stitching (aaargh!!).  I cannot wait for the arrival of the shed.  :)

I still have much to plan and prepare but I WILL keep blogging and I shall dust off the e & e Facebook page too, so everyone will know what is happening.

In the meantime I have a new obsession to contend with. 

Dewhurst Sylko name colours! 

They are amazing!  I know I'm not the first and I won't be the last to be hooked on these little bits of perfection.  I have a Mr Simms sweet jar full of wooden reels and I got to wondering whether somewhere on the 'net there might be a complete list of all the colours and their names and numbers, so that I could collect them all and have a check list to work from.  After not too much trawling, I found several others who have already made huge progress with this quest.  Over on Instagram Mandy and Kim have compiled a list and are going great guns at tracking the missing names down. 

Now I am scouring charity shops and car boot sales, trying to find those missing names.  If you have a stash of Sylko reels at home, have a look and see if you have any of the following numbers.  If you do pretty please let me know what the names are. We don't need to own them to add them to the list.  It's just the names we are begin with at least.

30, 38, 75, 80, 83, 89, 99, 100, 102, 105, 106, 114, 138, 143, 147 - 155 inc, 157 - 159 inc, 172, 173, 180, 187, 200, 201, 207, 210, 226, 228, 230, 241, 248, 262, 271, 275, 281, 293, 307, 313, 329, 334, 336, 350, 353, 354, 355, 361, 363, 364, 365, 368, 371, 373, 378 - 384 inc, 388, 397, 398, 400, 404, 405, 412, 419, 430, 431, 432, 452, 462, 465, 469, 472, 473, 475, 477, 482, 484, 485, 487, 489, 492 - 501 inc.

That's 100 names left to track down.  Not bad going out of over 500 shades of thread.  Then the serious job of gathering and collecting begins.

Right.  I'm of to peruse some haberdashery and start to make some lists.  Any requests then let me know.