Back when I had just taken Laura After Midnight full time I read a blog post by a small business owner who had been working away on her business for a couple years & was about to go on holiday. Probably many people reading this wont understand the magnitude of that statement however; I was fascinated. To have set up & run my business to a level where I could afford to take a week off from it seemed like a far distant prospect, but to take a week off & go away using money I had earned from running my business seemed unthinkable.
Whilst business is still a little rocky- I freelance in many different forms including Costume, Design, Teaching & Laura After Midnight on Etsy etc- & I am still learning to balance everything from month to month, I am slowly running my business a little more successfully each & every month. I am learning to diversify, reach for opportunities & see gaps in the market, fight for myself & Laura After Midnight & start to believe in my skills & talents.
In all, despite the stress, never being able to rub two pennies together & constant uncertainty, the last year of my life has been incredibly empowering & I am getting ready to take my first holiday at the end of May! I’m so excited that I am already able to do this. Honestly, whilst I can afford to take the time away, I’m not too sure I can afford to spend any money but I am keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to go to London for a few days to visit all my old haunts, stock up on interesting fabrics, trims & trinkets & load up my inspiration banks again.
Old haunts include…
The Shop, just off Brick Lane. A little gem of a shop stuffed full of incredible Vintage textiles, fabrics & clothes. I almost never seem to actually buy much of anything in this little gem of a place however; I certainly leave excited with ideas flitting about my head & my fingers itching to get stitching! Last time I was rummaging through their shelves I was tempted by Vintage embroidered handkerchiefs, 1940’s patchwork quilts and all manner of Vintage trim fragments. I shall definitely be hoping to pick up some unique & inspirational fabric to stitch up in to something lovely.
The Cloth House, Berwick Street. A true haven, or heaven to all fashion, costume & fabric lovers alike. I adore this shop, & could happily stay in there for hours! Selling a truly awe inspiringly classy selection of cottons & silks, they also hold a breathtaking selection of Vintage French Silk ribbons, trims and buttons for you to drool over. Their window displays are adorable & the whole experience is very inspirational to me. Some day I shall have a studio & it will look like this shop!!
Just down from The Cloth House are several other gorgeous fabric shops such as Borovick Fabrics, which is excellent for the Costuming world, & The Silk Society which is scarily expensive but whose servers- when nudged- tell wonderful stories of which Designers have been in that week, & what films their fabrics have popped up in! After a quick cuppa in one of the excellent but slightly odd cafe’s I shall be performing a quick skirmish into The Cloth House’s sister shop at the other end of Berwick Street as well.
MacCulloch & Wallace, just off Oxford Street. Incredibly snooty & indifferent staff reign supreme here however; they have all the bits & parts that make the Design world go round. From busks, eyelets, several different types of tailors chalk in five different colours, scissors (the proper ones), pins, boxes of needles, to everything you haven’t even thought of & topped off with an entire floor of ribbons, feathers & trims this is the notions capital of London. I shall be looking for handy accessories, stocking up on the aforementioned tailors chalk- I’m definitely going to get the black this time!- and reveling in the pins aisle. I love really good pins!! I expect to find some lovely new silks for my Mini Top Hat Kits as well.
I’ll also be dropping in on Barnett Lawson for feathers & trims. It’s in an enormous basement just off Oxford Street stuffed to the gunnels with haberdashery! VV Rouleaux on Marylebone Lane will definitely be on the list for ribbon inspiration before fainting at the price, but having ooh-ed & aah-ed at the beautiful displays & thoroughly having enjoyed touching everything! Kleins, for a quick peek at yet more haberdashery, will be a wonderful treat before having another cup of tea!
Somehow, I enjoy visiting London more than I ever enjoyed living there! I know all the short cuts to walk around, behind or over the busiest streets to get to the haberdashery quicker, I love looking forward to visiting my favorite Chinese Restaurant (Super Star, next the The Prince of Charles Cinema!), & laughing at all the busy bee Londoners before hopping on the train back to lovely Bristol.
What fun, happy stitching!