June Newsletter 2023

June Newsletter 2023

18th Sep 2023

Water water everywhere

Big drama here! I was about to send out a newsletter three weeks ago advertising our Janome day on Saturday 3 June when the shop was flooded and we had to defer the event – and a lot more besides! Those who live in the area will know there was torrential rain on the morning of 27 May – some 25 mm fell in less than an hour – and the drains along Onepu Road couldn’t cope, being clogged with sand it seems, so the Onepu Road gutters became like a river rushing along that street, around the corner, over the footpath and under our front door! It also gushed into the carpark area behind the shop but, thankfully, didn’t get inro our classroom. (The skirt drafting class carried on almost as normal through all the turmoil!)

We’d only been open about 15 minutes when the water came in - and just kept coming. I couldn’t believe it. Nothing like this has happened before and we were powerless to do anything except lift stock off the floor and out of low shelves and, in my case, shed a few tears. The Fire Service arrived quickly and swept and vacuumed water out of the shop. The Chemdry people spent a couple of hours cutting the carpet out as much as possible, and left many driers and dehumidifiers on for the next 3 days. And it wasn’t just our shop that suffered. Burkes Tyres and Bikes up the road, and everyone in between us and them, got flooded to some extent.

We were closed for 5 days as we dried out the place, got rid of all the carpet - which meant deconstructing our big counter and drawers unit and moving all the wool and fabric shelves – identified all the damp stock to write off, moved almost everything out to the classroom while new carpet was installed, then moved everything back in again. Friends and neighbours, customers, staff and my landlord and his mates were all fantastic helpers. There are a few loose ends to tie up now – getting rid of the damaged stock, replacing it, getting new shelves made, getting paid out by my insurer - and catching up on lost sleep!

A few days after the flood, a Wellington City Council tanker/truck was sucking out the debris from the drains in the immediate area. Better late than never I guess but our local business association will be pushing for very regular drain cleanouts from now on. As for what we can do, our new shelves will have a kickboard rather than sit right on the carpet, and we’ll store all new sewing machines off the floor, but surely something so freakish and disruptive won’t happen again to our lovely shop.

Extra bad timing

What made the flood seem even worse was that I was just about to put this business on the market! I’d signed a contract with ABC business brokers and paid for their advertising - so that will go public very soon.

I’ve been thinking of selling for a while now – after 7+ years of running the business in a very hands-on way - and this seems the right time in terms of my lease of the premises, and my increasing age! There’s just under 2 years to run on my current lease, and a 3 year right of renewal after that, and I’m ready to hand over the reins to someone who will bring fresh energy and ideas to the shop while (I hope) retaining the happy, helpful, community vibe of the place and its wonderful array of quality stock.

If you know anyone who might be interested, please get them to contact Michael Mebus at ABC Business Sales ph 021 885 797, or email

Classes – new schedule out now!

Our term 3 timetable is now mostly available online, with the remainder being added as they’re confirmed, and the brochure will be in the shop this week.

We’re offering the usual classics such as beginner knitting, beginner sewing as both evening classes and a one day workshop, and the overlocker bootcamp. We also have some that we have not run for a while, like knitting a cute bunny toy, cable knit fingerless gloves, and a top down baby cardigan, all of which use techniques that can be applied to all sorts of other projects. We have the Sigrid coat and StyleArc lounge pants to keep you cosy in the cold, and a new woollen beanie knitted in the round for those looking to try out circular needles. Also new is the unisex shirt class, where you can bring your own pattern and be guided through sewing cuffs, collars, button wraps and everything else.

Crochet is having a surge of popularity, so we have three crochet classes to cover all levels of skill, from the Beginners Crochet class, to the slightly more ambitious Crossed Treble Crochet Blanket, and the unique Textured Flower Squares.

Handiquilter Sweet 16 demo machine for sale – cheap!

Promo image of the sweet sixteen quilting machine

Do you want to free motion quilt on a specialist machine with its own table and 16 inch throat? My Version 1 Handiquilter Sweet 16 is about 10 years old, has never left the shop and has been demo’d only a handful of times in the 7 years that I’ve owned it. It has a new “ankle” to take the feet that have been invented since it was manufactured and its table has an eziglide cover to increase the manoeuvrability of your work. It doesn’t have a separate bobbin winder, nor the Insight table with integrated stitch regulator that comes with the version 2 machine. And it doesn’t have a warranty. Until about 2 years ago I could have offered a 2 year warranty, which would have increased its price to maybe $9000. (Current RRP of version 2 Sweet 16 with the special table and bobbin winder is $14k+). I didn’t want to sell it before now because I had to have a demo machine in order to sell Sweet 16s. But with my demo machine being 10 years old and different from the latest version, I’m now open to cheeky offers for it.

Sunday social stitching

Our second Sunday Stitches session at the end of May, which was booked out very early, had to be cancelled because of the flood. We’ve scheduled an end of June session (25 June, 1.30 to 3.30 pm) and also an extra session (9 July, 1.30 to 3.30pm) and gave the cancelled May enrolees first choice of those dates. Now that they’re sorted, the remaining places are available on the website or in store. These are incredibly popular, so get in quick!

In these sessions you’ll get 2 hours of expert guidance in knitting and crochet from 3 mentors, with afternoon tea provided! The fee is $20, which must be paid in advance to secure your spot.

Stay warm

See you in the shop,

Jo, Jess, Vincent and Toni