April 1, 2020
The Stitchery was born in September 2017 out of a passion for creativity & community. Although there have been many changes since then, it remains a space that welcomes all makers to learn, create & meet; and at its heart, as always, are good people and a good cup of tea.
Challenges & Opportunities
The past few weeks have brought unexpected challenges for all of us. I have struggled with how to protect the health of our community while still fulfilling the vision of The Stitchery.
Just a few short weeks ago, I was focusing on some more personal adjustments as I welcomed a new manager into the studio. Naomi would keep The Stitchery’s vision intact as I turned my attention to a new baby and the shaping & styling of my role as a mom.
Leading a small business means making decisions all day, every day in the face of uncertainty. With her cheerful determination and calm leadership, I knew Naomi would care for The Stitchery as I do. Little did I know that these decisions would become so difficult so quickly. As the pandemic grew, and it became clear that we in BC wouldn’t be spared, I was faced with the decision of whether or not to close our doors.
In this unprecedented situation I’ve felt overwhelmed by the smallest choices – what to eat for dinner – to the big ones – what’s the path ahead for The Stitchery, for our staff, for our community?
Closing our doors and cancelling classes was the right decision for the safety of our customers and staff, but I worried about disappointing people, and I felt anxious about how we’d make it through this period as a business.
After sharing these feelings in The Stitchery newsletter, a customer wrote back to me, “Stay optimistic. You, Ellaine and Kitka have made the place so warm and inviting. I am so grateful to have found your space to let some of my creativity out. Stay positive.”
The hope didn’t stop there. That week turned into the one of the busiest for online sales we have ever had. The members of The Stitchery community are each doing their own bit to help us stay afloat.
That hope got me through the following days and gave me new energy. It was like a lightbulb switched on in my head. Community isn’t only about our face-to-face interactions, our need for connection can be achieved in many ways – The Stitchery community was ready to tackle the challenges and find opportunities to keep going!
How we’re adapting
We’re ready to find opportunities with you!
Our new plan for this period involves:
- online sharing of projects (e.g. check out #isewlation to see stitchers worldwide getting creative in isolation)
- Curb-side pick-up (Wed 10am-2pm & Sat 11am-3pm): a safe and practical way of keeping you equipped with sewing supplies
- Free shipping in BC on orders over $50
- Lots of new fabrics, patterns and kits for sale online
The learning hasn’t stopped either. We’re still providing advice on your projects by phone and email. Each week, we’ll be sharing a sewing challenge: a free guide to a little sewing project you can easily do at home, and a challenge to make it and share the results with us: @stitcherybc on Facebook and Instagram, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And we’ll continue to adapt as things evolve. The best way we can do this is by listening to you.
Drop us a comment below to tell us how you’re feeling and what you need from us. Let us know how the online store works for you. Can you find everything you need?
We can’t wait to hear from you.