Image credit: Dom Moore
Each issue, we interview an independent retailer to talk about their business, plans for the future and how they have coped with the Covid pandemic. This month, we speak to Lizzy Evans of Make at 140.
For those who aren’t familiar with Make at 140, how would you best describe the shop?
We are a modern fabric shop, selling quality fabrics, independent designed patterns, sewing notions and amazing buttons. We run a variety of Creative workshops, mainly sewing based with a focus on dressmaking.
We pride ourselves on the best customer service, we want people to enjoy their shopping and workshop experience and enjoy spending time with people talking through their projects and offering advice.
Who, or what, inspired you to open the shop?
I originally started with buttons, up-cycling clothing with funky buttons and realised there wasn’t a large selection of unusual buttons in Plymouth so there was born Funky Poppy. A button shop only selling buttons.
During my 5 year spell in the House That Jack Built I realised there wasn’t a sewing hub for Plymouth, somewhere people could get advice, buy really good quality and modern fabrics and get sewing. Make was created, with a passion to sew, create and teach others to do the same.
Talk to me about how your source your items/products?
I take a lot of time to find unusual fabrics, buttons, patterns and gifts. I like to find something you wouldn’t be able to source anywhere else in Plymouth and surrounding area. I try look for fabric which are either organic or Oeko-tex standard, which isn’t always possible but it is one of my top priorities when searching for fabrics. I just like feeling, sewing with and offering amazing fabrics.
What has been the most interesting item you have sourced?
Our fabrics! Recently we have stocked some neon rainbow fabrics which glows up under UV.
Have there been any famous faces coming into the shop?
I may have but our policy is discretion so I can’t say I’m afraid.
It has been a difficult year for local retailers. How have you adapted in such tough times?
I think it has to be the same as everyone else, running the business online, I have been doing videos in the shop, offering online live shopping, showcasing the fabrics and offerings through social media and trying to stay in touch with people that way. We have also been running online zoom sewing sessions for regular customers throughout lockdown which has been a great way for people to stay in touch and keep the sewing momentum.
What do you love most about Plymouth?
Plymouth is a unique city, it has a buzzing independent scene which I love, everyone supports each other and really makes Plymouth a great place to be for independent businesses.
"We pride ourselves on the best customer service, we want people to enjoy their shopping and workshop experience and enjoy spending time with people talking through their projects and offering advice."
Image credit: Dom Moore
Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth
Tel: 07776 757300
We speak to Lizzy Evans of Make at 140
How are were do you spend your downtime?
My downtime is spent in a variety of ways, sewing (of course) walking the South West Coast path and drinking wine with friends.
What are you looking forward to most after lockdown ends?
Spending more time with family and friends and being able to go to exotic places again.
How can readers find out more about the shop?
Check out our website www.makeat140.co.uk and our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram Makeat140