I have been meaning to invite you to visit The Old Haberdashery through my blog for over a year now. Sonia's shop is one of my very favourites - so much so that I make a special trip to visit her from time to time as the ever changing stock always includes many items I would happily re-home.
From vintage spools of thread to glass bottles (I may have bought a few...), fabrics, accessories, trimmings and so much more. There is always treasure to be found at The Old Haberdashery...
And so, wanting to share this marvellous shop of curiosities with you, I asked owner Sonia Boriczewski to divulge a little of the story behind the scenes to us...
in Sonia's words...
I trained as a textile designer specializing in Knitted Textiles and left Chelsea College of Art and Design with a first class honours degree back in 1997. After graduating I set up on my own designing paper yarn accessories. I then spent 9 years living abroad, teaching Textiles and Costume History in Shanghai and then 4 years in Barcelona taking time out to have a family.
On returning to England I knew I wanted to use my creative talents and knowledge and start my own business. I had spent a lot of time foraging in the antiques markets in Shanghai, finding beautiful old textiles and antiques. I have always had a passion for the old and unloved, coupled with an inherent desire to make things. I began sewing when I was 6, learning from an old lady in my village. Bringing all this together lead me to my current path.
I started small by way of local fairs and renting a small space in a local vintage clothes shop. This gave me the confidence I needed and a chance to try out my style of vintage and haberdashery, marrying the two.
I was very lucky in that I had a lot of people spurring me on. My landlord is what I would call a ‘patron of the arts’, a canny businessman who saw that what I did would complement his business. It's good to have a mentor or someone who can give you invaluable advice and push you a bit out of your comfort zone.
What I wanted to create was a space where people could come and experience something. A spot of retail theatre, some treasure hunting, colour therapy and leave filled with ideas of things to make and projects to begin. Where possible I source vintage but this is not always achievable so I also stock things that fit in with the ethos of the shop.
So for example we have Merchant and Mills haberdashery and we have recycled silk yarns from India. I like to support other small businesses in this respect. Most of the things in my shop tell a story
I believe that you have to nurture your own style, believe in your vision. It took me a good year to develop my own ‘Old Haberdashery’ style. The biggest compliment I received recently was from a fair organizer who invited me to one of her events saying ‘there’s no one doing what you do’. Knowing where you fit in and finding a different take on what you do has been so important.
During 2013-14 I produced a range of vintage haberdashery for Liberty. They approached me after seeing me at a fair.
I do love getting to know more about the creative folk I meet, and as such I am planning to re-open some conversations on my blog, they have been on the shelf for far too long already! I haven't had chance to move the category over to this site yet, but I will soon as the archive is full of wonderful people.
Until next time...
the old haberdashery links
You can find The Old Haberdashery online via the following links...