Deniliquin's Heritage Fabrics owners Joy Spence and Gill SMith are calling it a day.December 11, 2013 4:44am
This Friday will mark the end of an era for many local sewing enthusiasts when Heritage Fabrics closes its doors after 17 years in business in Deniliquin.
Co-owners Joy Spence and Gill Smith opened the popular shop after both taught fashion design at TAFE for 15 years prior to forming their business partnership.
The pair have worked on thousands of garments and have taught hundreds of students in their time at the Heritage Fabrics shopfront in Hardinge St.
‘‘We were both teaching at TAFE when we were offered a redundancy,’’ Gill said.
‘‘We still saw the need for similar services in town. We have around 60 people a week in classes and at the time brought many students with us that we taught at TAFE.
‘‘The students also see the classes as a social get together. It makes you feel good to know you’ve provided a service that brings people together.
‘‘We’ve had students travel from Echuca, Barham, Finley and even Shepparton to attend.’’
The ladies would host seven classes a week that teach a range of skills from basic sewing to smocking, embroidery, patchwork and quilting.
Gill said it had been a good 17 years but that it was time to reassess life and where the business would to go next.
‘‘I think online shopping has had a huge impact in the way businesses operate,’’ she said.
‘‘But we still find there are lots of older people who rely on that face to face service too.
‘‘There’s the opportunity for someone new to pick it up and go with it (a sewing / fabric business).’’
Heritage Fabrics has been involved in a number of community projects over the years involving sewing, Joy saying they try and accommodate any request that ‘‘comes through the door’’.
‘‘We’ve tackled a lot of different things, from horse blankets to wedding gowns,’’ Joy said.
‘‘When we first started out we had predominately dress fabrics but have had a shift to crafts over the years.
‘‘We’ve also been involved in lots of different things and have sponsored schools, the Deni Show and the Deniliquin Netball Association.
‘‘Recently we helped our students organise a patchwork display which raised money for the oncology unit (at Deni Hospital).
‘‘It’s definitely the people and friendships we’ve developed that we’ll miss the most,’’ Joy said
The store is currently holding a closing-down sale and will officially close its doors this Friday.
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