When I tell people I own a haberdashery, I usually get two expressions, a quizzical one or jubilation. The word haberdashery is a funny one as it instantly sounds old fashioned and gives nothing away.
For those into crafts, fashion and/or textiles, you’ll know that a haberdashery is the place you go to pick up the items that will add, enhance or create your project. It is the place where a seamstress gets her zips and buttons, the jewellery maker their beads and the knitter their yarn.
The image of a haberdashery is somewhat old-fashioned, but the great thing is that I am a part of a generation which loves anything old, call it retro, kitsch or vintage. Emulating the past is cool and on trend, the sense of nostalgia is heart-warming and connecting. We get to play and take part in eras which seemed to have so much more substance to our throw-away culture.
My love for haberdasheries stems from some, if not all of those reasons. I have always taken part in some sort of cause, re-recycling and re-using, ask my mum, most of the toys I had were made from paper, and around Christmas the quality street tin was my treasure chest, I loved the wrappers and made them into dresses for my creations…I loved the smell of my mum’s sewing machines, it smelt like a large plastic toy and she used to have her cardboard matt out with all its markings, the sound of the scissors and you’d finding pins everywhere.
On a few of these occasions when she was dress making she’d bring me to the fabric shop and haberdashery to pick up the necessary tools to complete her task and this is where my love really kicked in. Being surrounded by ribbons and buttons especially were my favourite, bobbins and quick-un-picks I found strange but soon found out their uses.
I used to see my nana with her knitting needles and she’d knit our school jumpers and I found that I was the only one on my mum’s side who wasn’t somehow a part of this because at school I wasn’t able to do textiles or art, so I went on to be a beautician.
Now, training as a dressmaker has not only brought the creative side out of me but I get to make it my business. The magpie haberdashery is a modern version of the haberdasheries I love, not stuffy, full of choice and vibrant.
Taking part in the Brand Amplifier experience has helped me really look at the exciting idea of developing my business into something amazing and has boosted my confidence in promoting The Magpie Haberdashery through better use of social media, resourcefulness and the notion that branding is an art and you do have to be brave and bold to make it happen. Although I appear timid I have the courage of a lion to make it succeed.