Stratford crafters will be at a loss when In Stitches closes later this month.

The Broadway business, which stocks wool, fabrics, haberdashery and quilting supplies, will close its doors after 11 years of operation.

The store has been buzzing with customers over the past few weeks as owner Maudette Brown sells the remaining stock.

Maudette is a few weeks off retirement age and although she wanted to sell the business, has been unable to find a serious buyer after listing the business last September.


She is sad to close the store's doors but says she has had a wonderful time sharing her passion and knowledge for sewing and hand crafts with the community.

"You don't have a business like this because you want to be a millionaire but to share knowledge and share passion and help other people out. You have got to have a dream and I just believed that I could do it. I worked really hard and I did it. I have really enjoyed working here as well as all of the people I have met.

"It makes me feel really happy to have helped people in the process ... the shop has got bigger and I have got older and I am tired after being on my feet for 45 hours every week. "

Maudette will, however, stay in Stratford and hopes to get out and about with her projects.

"In the summer I might spend 20 minutes at each park bench embroidering or knitting and people can come and join me. I may start up a craft group or join one that already exists."

Maudette says many customers are upset about the closure and the fact they will have to go to New Plymouth to buy what they need. She hopes the younger generation can lend some of the older shoppers a hand in buying things online.

She says having a shop on Broadway proved to be a winner due to the amount of traffic that went past as well as the fact rents were cheaper than in New Plymouth.

Maudette moved to Stratford from Whangarei and says the weather and people came as a bit of a shock.

"At first I just thought people were bloody nosy — but then I got the flu and people were knocking on my door asking if I needed anything from the supermarket. People are just so friendly. I reckon I am staying here."

She says it's sad that so many stores are closing down around Stratford. Many store owners were retiring or getting sick and were struggling to find buyers who were willing to step up. She felt concern that customers were drawn to bigger corporate businesses instead of buying at local stores, as despite the way things were marketed, the smaller stores often charged less.

She says customers are "conned" by bright lights and marketing ploys and that the general public needed to be educated over this so they changed their perspective. Internet shopping had also taken away from locals shops and many people were part of online crafting communities these days.

Despite the pitfalls of business, she is grateful to have had the support of her loyal customers as well as her friends who have helped her out over the years.
"I am so blessed."