Haberdashery and craft business Patch Fabrics has been running online for a year, and now owner Claire Davidson is getting ready to open her own shop in the town centre. The shop, in Bevan Street, will sell a range of fabrics, including stock from designers such as Kaffe Fassett, Michael Miller and Heather Bailey, as well as trimmings and ribbons. Claire, who lives with her family in north Lowestoft, said: "When I first thought about setting up the business, I wanted to open a shop but I talked myself out of it, so I set up the website instead to test the market. Now I know there is a demand, and there’s no specialist fabric shop anywhere nearby so I really think this is something which will work well in Lowestoft."
 
Patch Fabrics 
 
"Crafts and dressmaking are having a resurgence at the moment, so I think this is the right time to take the leap and open the shop I’ve always wanted." Claire’s interest in sewing started in childhood, and she took up the hobby again about five years ago when she borrowed a sewing machine. She added: "My youngest son has now started nursery, and when I started to think about going back to work, I couldn’t think of a job I wanted to do except run my own fabric business. I’m really excited about having my own shop. It’s important to me that the shop is a friendly place and that people who are just dabbling in sewing don’t feel too scared to come in. I have chosen a wide range of products to cater for both the experienced crafter and people who want to give it a go."
 
Patch Fabrics 
 
 
As well as the shop, the upstairs of Patch Fabrics will be converted to be used in future as a venue for craft workshops and classes. Claire said: "I’ve done quite well online, and I’ve put everything back into the business so I’m now in the position where I can open the shop and give it a try. I’ve invested in lots of fabric choices so that each time people come back to the website there’s something different. There are new designs coming out all the time, and people want to be able to buy the latest things. Most importantly it has allowed me to research what sells and what doesn’t without the overheads involved in owning a shop. I’m really excited about the shop, and I’ve already had lots of encouragement and support, not only from family and friends, but from existing online customers who are looking forward to coming along."
 
Patch Fabrics 
 
 
Patch Fabrics is due to open on Saturday March 5, and will be open Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am to 3.30pm. To visit the website, see www.patchfabrics.co.uk