Dreams to reality as friends set up shop
Kate Makin loves to knit, while her friend Jess Tubman is a lover of all things antique and collectable.
It was with a shared interest and passion they have decided to launch a new business venture together in Lancaster city centre.
Northern Yarn and Penny Street Collectables opened earlier this month , with a Channel 4 camera crew there to share the occasion as as part of their Extreme Cake Makers series.
It was in 2015 after her local yarn shop relocated Kate, a mum of two, embarked on a new business to source and sell locally produced real wool.
Her vision to buy good, quality wool whilst supporting local farmers from Lancashire and it’s surrounding counties. After trawling the internet for local suppliers, she happened on a new opportunity and Northern Yarn was born
Lancashire Farm Wool would become her first line of stock
She says: “I didn’t believe I was alone in my town, wanting to knit with real wool and although online gives variety, there’s nothing like squishing and smelling real wool, drinking in the visual feast for the eyes that vibrant displays can provide.”
Kate set up stall on Lancaster Charter Market, also running a knitting group at the Gregson Centre on Monday evenings and a online shop.
The business today produces and sells its own range of wool - Poll Dorset/Bluefaced Leicester Northern Yarn’ - as well as many other well-known, local and British wool brands, including, New Lanark and West Yorkshire Spinners.
It was through their children attending Quernmore Primary School, Kate met Jess, who had first discovered a love for collectables working in her own mum’s antique shop from the age of 14.
Now she scouts local venues looking for the next treasure.
She says: “I’m an avid fan of flea markets, car boot sales, antique fairs and auctions
“I can be found at one of these every weekend searching from something exciting.
“I look for good quality, excellent design, or something a little bit quirky.”
Both had a dream to own and run their own shop and it was a chance conversation with another antiques dealer which led to the women discovering a shop at 74 Penny Street was available
Jess added: “The shop will be an exciting, eclectic mix of gorgeous unusual things, new and old.
“I have always bought antiques and collectibles online and Kate has sold wool online and we always talked about opening a shop but it was only a dream really.
“It all happened very quickly, we have only known each other for two or three years but we had a similar vision.
“There’s a lot of empty shops in Lancaster at the moment which isn’t good to see, so hopefully this will work out for us.”
The shop will stock a range of wool and accessories while Jess will bring her expertise in antiques and collectables, selling a mixture of old and new pottery and glass and small pieces of furniture as well as silver jewellery.
Popular names on offer will include Emma Bridegwater, Susie Watson, Royal Dalton and Medina glass.
The pair were delighted with the success of the launch event on September 2 which attracted customers from across the county.
Kate adds: “The launch party was amazing, thank you to all of you that came from far and wide to support us.”
“So many people made this such a fab day
Jess (Penny Street Collectables) and I would love to see you soon.
The shop in 74 Penny Street will be open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm. 74 Penny Street, Lancaster, LA1 1XN.