Today I’m delighted to bring you a bit of a chat with Gillian of The Old Pharmacy. The Old Pharmacy is a brand new yarn shop – so new in fact that it officially opened its doors for the first time today.
When I got Gillian’s email with her answers to my questions I was very sorry that she wasn’t just a bit more local because I could see lots of entertaining catch ups. So those of you who live near Faversham are in for a treat.
Q: What on earth possessed you to open a wool shop (that’s what you meant, right?)
A: A once in a lifetime opportunity came up that we couldn’t possibly pass by. Family bought an old building for renovation, the ground floor of which is a retail space. The desire was to have a business that sat comfortably within the centre of our medieval market town and made best use of the large shop windows plus the additional light and airy room out the back…..wool and workshops it is!
Q: One bit of advice you’d give?
A: Think about the skills you possess to go ahead and then prepare to quadruple them (or win the lottery and employ about 47 people to tackle the things you had no idea you were about to put on your to-do list!)
Apart from the obvious love of textile, texture and tenacity you mean? Well, there’s logisitics, data entry, software engineer, PR, marketing, stockroom management, moth control, set design, firmness, fairness, good humour, optimism, determination. For starters.
Q: What did you do before?
A: Immediately before this I worked as a design consultant for Rowan and was a textiles tutor in a private school.
Q: What makes the shop special and different?
A: The age of building is quite something, built in 1240, with a delightfully wonky charm and Georgian windows. The medieval timbers are visible as soon as you step inside the shop and one wall has the Georgian pharmacy fittings still in place.
It’s in the market place of a town that supports independent traders, has a strong creative community and a brewery; something for everyone.
Q: What’s ahead in 2016?
A: Developing the workshop programme, we have Tom of Holland booked for 30th Jan.
Also focusing on the UK yarn industry; producers, suppliers, dyers, designers and encouraging a love of what we have to offer established and new fibre fiends.
Q: What would you love to stock?
A: The wisdom of Elizabeth Zimmermann!
Q: How to find us?
A: in real life; just off the M2 in Faversham, Kent.