All sewn up

Stitch! founders Karen Mautner, Suzanne Kelly and Carol Balfe
Stitch! founders Karen Mautner, Suzanne Kelly and Carol Balfe

A new social enterprise aims to get people stitching, writes Frances Balcombe

Stitch! is an exciting new creative emporium arriving on bustling Green Lanes in Palmers Green.

This community enterprise has been brought together by Carol Balfe, Karen Mautner and Suzanne Kelly – three highly energetic and motivated local residents who, like many in their area, mourned the recent closing of Rodwins, a supplier of crafting and haberdashery products.

This intrepid trio set about finding premises and suppliers for the courses and the haberdashery they want to offer. They were fortunate, when talking to the local retailers and business community, to meet Dana Burstow of the Palmers Green Action Team and Costas Georgiou, chair of the Green Lanes Business Association. He, in turn, introduced them to Stelios Solomou – who is now their landlord.

Stitch! is the industrious new occupant of a spacious, light-filled corner shop at 379 Green Lanes. Here, the team are bringing craft and sewing products, creative classes, and events, back to local enthusiasts. In and around Palmers Green there is a diverse and growing artistic and crafting community, accomplished in many areas but also looking to learn new skills.

Karen, Suzanne and Carol have listened to the requests of these fellow enthusiasts and Stitch! is tailoring its courses to suit demand, wherever possible employing skilled local trainers to lead workshops. This underlines the ethos of Stitch! to invite the community to be involved with the business; by offering work experience to teenagers and apprenticeships to youngsters entering the workplace. For others wanting to be involved there are opportunities to volunteer and to be involved in running sessions and all ages and abilities are warmly welcomed.

Stitch! is also stocking a well-priced range of key haberdashery products, fabrics, sewing and crafting goodies. There will be a wonderful selection of original gift items, created by local crafters, along with regular opportunities for those attending and running classes to exhibit and sell their creations.

This social enterprise has come to life incredibly quickly and Suzanne, Carol and Karen recognise that this is largely due to the amazing encouragement of the local residents and business community. The team believe such support will help them negotiate this new challenge and are unanimous in voicing their hope that Stitch! will become a “ vibrant hub for the community, bringing like-minded creative people together to share their enthusiasm and knowledge”.

Stitch! is now open at 379 Green Lanes, Palmers Green