The idea for Buzz 4 Wool developed after I had spent over 20 years as a designer working in the fashion industry, sourcing fabrics and trimmings from all over the world. I noticed a resurgence of interest in hand crafted clothing and that people wanted to customise or to knit, sew and crochet for the enjoyment, and to become more individual in their wardrobes and homes.
It may be in contrast to the ‘pile it high-sell it fast’ attitude on the High Street, or just for the sheer pleasure of handling and working with beautiful materials, that attracted many to combine vintage and quality pieces.
During a short time teaching Textiles I found the kind of fabric and haberdashery shops I spent time in as a student no longer seemed to exist, and that large chain stores were expensive and limited.
I began selling modern and vintage buttons and haberdashery items from stalls in Greenwich and Spitalfields Markets in London, with the hope of one day opening a shop, but one that was part of an old fashioned High Street, not part of a soulless shopping mall. When 5 Oxford Street came available in Whitstable, I jumped at the chance and extended the range to include a comprehensive range of stunning hand knitting yarns.
This now forms the biggest part of our offer, and has proved to be a popular and growing trend, The reason for the name, which started as ‘Buzz 4 Buttons’, was to emphasise the contemporary nature of the shop, to reflect what is the latest Buzz, even though it also has an old fashioned feel, I didn’t want it to be like an old fashioned shop.
Here in Whitstable we are proud to be the UK’s number 1 High Street for independent businesses, and there are very few empty shops at any time.