Ta Dah! Ray Stitch is now open for business at 66 Essex Road, N1! We have moved across the road, into bigger premises, after 6 years at number 99.
The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for us - Rachel signed the lease for the new shop in November and a major building project began to turn the tired retail space into a hub for our ever-growing creative community. The existing shop (formerly a travel agents with lots of dark little rooms) was gutted - walls were knocked through, windows were opened up to make a feature of the double-height space into the basement below and the staircase was repositioned to maximise the floor space.
It was a huge job to complete in just 10 weeks and it sure wasn't pretty but what it means now is we have lots of space and natural light - just what every sewing enthusiast and fabric lover needs.
As you enter the new shop you will recognise the original Ray Stitch trademark details: inlaid wooden features on the new staircase and floor, miniature retro sewing machines on the shelves and an industrial edge to the fittings. But as we have doubled in size, it has allowed us to create a more relaxed environment - the fabric range has increased and there is more space to browse. There’s a whole rack of garments made up from patterns and fabrics we stock so you can see and feel how these look, plus there's a 'reading' room full of patterns, books and magazines and a stylish sofa so you can sit, linger and get inspiration as you plan your next project.
The variety of trims, notions, zips, buttons, ribbons, clasps etc we stock has also increased so you are bound to find exactly the right finishing touches to complete your work in progress.
As you head down the beautiful wooden staircase you will find yet more gorgeous fabrics, especially our popular organic cottons, jerseys, and wool linens, as well as two cutting tables and layout space. Our ever-popular sewing school is housed downstairs too, but with the new skylight from the windows on the street there is an abundance of natural light (& a passing audience to look in and admire!) Our classes are always well subscribed and in our new shop we can accommodate participants much more comfortably, with over-spill space for big projects like quilts.
On a practical level and very pleasing to the staff, we also have more room for the kitchen and bathroom, two stockrooms and - finally! - a proper office for all the behind-the-scenes running of the business.
The one thing that has not changed is our brilliantly talented team. Everyone who works at Ray Stitch has great enthusiasm for fabric and their own special expertise and knowledge. If you need help, have questions, want advice or just want to chat about your passion, please talk to our staff!
Although we have moved in and are open for business already, we will be hosting an official press launch on Friday 7 April. By the power of social media we would love as many of you to join us - we will be Live on Facebook at 7pm and on Instagram stories throughout the event so please stay tuned on the night.
We'd love to know what you think of our new shop, so please leave a comment below, or if you've got photos of your own then why not use the hashtag #RayStitch66 and share them with us on Instagram @raystitch