March stockist of the month: Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre

Offering everything their customers need for sewing and knitting, Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre, run by wife and husband team Julie and John Saunders, offer not just a wide range of projects but a vast amount of knowledge and experience to share with their customers and help unlock their creative flair. We caught up with Julie to find out more about this wonderful Oxfordshire based shop.

Tell us about the history of your shop and the team?
Initially trading in the 80’s as Lomax & Staines, we took the business over 15 years ago following previous experience within the industry and Witney Sewing & Knitting Centre evolved. With help from my husband John and just a few staff, the business has thrived and grown incredibly well, diversifying into a new retail outlet that provides customers with all the products they need for sewing and knitting projects under one roof. Our customers often tell us “what a lovely shop you have”.

What do you offer that makes you stand out from other retailers?
What makes us stand out from the crowd is the knowledge and expertise we offer together with the range of different products available. This expertise and knowledge has been accrued over the years and all of the staff have something to offer. Our creativity and enthusiasm is reflected by the customers’ enjoyment when they visit the shop.

What are you passionate about?
Time after time, customers return to seek more assistance with their projects and show us the beautiful work which they have created. This is what our passion is and what drives us on is to see the creative flair in the customers come out. To be able to provide the fabrics, sewing machines and expertise to help this all unfold, is wonderful.

How do you choose what you stock?
Social media provides a useful insight into fashion trends. Seasonal requirements in fabrics, yarns and also sewing machines are also important. All these will reflect on what you stock for the public demand etc, fashion literature has a great part in what is coming into fashion. It’s one of the hardest jobs to pick fabrics for the season, but I do have all the staff to help pick new fabrics and yarns and it is great to have different opinions.

What do you love about quilting?
Quilting is an addictive hobby with new techniques coming out all the time. It’s the most addictive sewing you will ever do. Here in Witney, we have lots of quilting clubs in the local area. It is great to exchange ideas and new techniques with other enthusiastic quilters. Once you start, you will never stop!!

What project are you working on at the minute?
We have a few members of staff working on beautiful quilts at the moment. I have got other projects on that are more home furnishings as I have just had a beautiful Horn cabinet for my Sewing room that I have waited for forty years!!!
I like to dress the shop windows with all the new fabrics to ensure the products are in the public eye ready for them to start their next project. Currently we are getting ready for Easter so Clothworks’ Daisy, Daisy fabric is coming soon and will be put on our website. We also plan to showcase Janome Sewing Machines with demonstrations of different attachments, something our regular quilters will be sure to enjoy!

Are there any future plans you wish to share with us?
Later in the year we will again be taking part in SEW SATURDAY which will raise money for Dementia UK. We had a very successful each year.

Find out more about Witney Sewing and Knitting Centre
Visit the website
Visit the Facebook page