The death of traditional haberdashery stores


Not so long ago, many local shopping strips included some form of haberdashery store.  The owner was usually a very experienced lady who was only too willing to help decipher patterns and calculate how many balls of wool or metres of fabric were needed.

Many have sadly disappeared and been replaced by large super stores (yes SL I'm talking about you!)  I've even watched my local store in Emerald, Vic transform from haby and drapery to a jazzed up homewares store with the basic haby gathering dust up the back.

While holidaying in Kiama on the NSW central coast I found a wonderful little haby store where the owner was friendly & chatty, she excitedly showed off some haby inspired brooches her friend from the UK had sent her and she explained that although she is left handed, she learnt to knit & crochet with the right so she could help her customers.  Ahhh, just like the good old days!

So if you have a shop like this in your local area then please, please SUPPORT IT.  Don't let us lose anymore of these treasures because the experience and good old fashioned service that goes hand in hand with these stores will also be gone. 

Do you still have a traditional haberdashery store in your part of town?

8 comments:

CurlyPops said...

When I moved into the area that I live in now in 1997, there was a local haby/fabric shop just near SL. I think it only lasted until about 1999. I soooooo wish that I had an alternative local bricks and mortar shop to support.

Anne said...

Oh so true Jodie. I grew up in rural W.A. and back then our local towns had a combined clothing/drapery/haberdashery store. It was wonderful.
I suppose it is the big corporations like SP, grocery stores WW and Cs, with shareholders looking for financial returns that have contributed to putting small business out of business because they can't compete.
Where I live, I have access to two SL stores an equal distance of about 20 mins drive. And you know I hate it, having to drive all that way just for a zip or some thread or wool etc. At least I have a car but I feel very sorry for pensioners without transport that have to go to a big shopping centre to find something in the habberdashery line. Although Knox shopping centre doesn't even have LC now.
I am rambling on here a bit but I feel quite passionate about big corportations stifling the little guys.
If you have time, you might be interested to read this post from a blogger in the U.K. http://diane-heartshaped.blogspot.com/2011/01/ribbons-and-lace.html. I really enjoyed reading about the good old fashioned service she received.
Have a fantastic day,
Anne

MJ said...

Have to agree! And you know, its the little stores where you find those special treasures, hard to find items and quality goods....big stores such as SL may sometimes be cheaper but so is the service and quality...We have a little store in our small town that stocks all the essentials and apart from the fact it's an hour to the nearest SL, it's better in service and quality of goods.

Tiff said...

It is really sad!!!! Bring back the Habby Store! We have little choice beyond SL on the Gold Coast. LC is gone, and only one or two tiny fabric stores with limited stock remains.... I source my supplies from the internet ... but it's not the same as touching and feeling the goodies in your hands.... plus what about the lovely ladies who advise you on how to best tackle the job you want to do? I am currently self learning to crochet with the Internet and books... (& mum on the phone) but I would love an actual person to give me some advice! Bring back the Haby Store!

Jodie said...

I know this sounds ridiculous but if I need any basic haby urgently, I go to my post office (which is a rural agency). The owners have installed a large rotating Birch stand and they even sell freezer paper for stenciling. They sell more haby than the local haby store!

Linda said...

Oh so true, i am lucky to have a great little habby shop not to far away from me, i feel like a kid in a candy shop whenever i go in there.

Emma said...

Could not agree more. Recently we have moved and I've discovered the most gorgeous little fabric and craft store in a nearby town. Every time I pass I try and buy something, I want to do a little tour and feature of the store on my blog :)

Leisa@Scrapsidaisy said...

What beautiful comments to read. Our little town once had a haby shop but it closed. About five and a half years ago I opened a scrapbook/papercraft shop and around the same time a couple of ladies opened a haby/craft shop. Sadly they closed up last year citing SL being 10 mins away as a major cause. I have now re-styled my shop to include knitting & crochet needles, basic haby, a few bolts of fabric, sewing boxes etc and the response especially from the older residents has been wonderful. I sew and craft because I was taught by a loving grandmother and aunt...I feel sad for those kiddies who now may miss out on this experience and only learn these skills from a googled site. I love online shopping too but surely there is a place for an old fashioned store.