28 April 2013

Guthrie and Ghani is Open for Business!

OMG you guys, yesterday was one of the best days EVER!!!! Lauren opened her Birmingham haberdashery, Guthrie and Ghani, and the place was MOBBED! Talk about roaring success, this was unbelievable!! Lauren has worked so hard refurbishing the building, getting the stock in, sorting out workshops - it's so wonderful that it's all paid off.

When I told Lauren I'd come along to the first day, I expected it to play shops a bit, hopefully a few people would turn up and need serving, maybe have a cup of tea and a catch up with Lauren and the gang... err, no chance! As the taxi drew near 169 Alcester Road, I was keeping my eyes peeled in case I missed the building... again, no chance!

Me: "161, 163, oh... umm... I guess it must be that building there with the QUEUE OF PEOPLE DOWN THE STREET."
Taxi driver: "Woah. What IS this place?"
Me: "Umm... it's a fabric shop."
Taxi driver: "Err... okay. [WTF?]"

This was the moment I jumped onto the cutting table and told everyone to wave to the camera

Embarrassed to be labelled a diva, I slipped past the queue and squeezed my way through the crowds to be reunited with Lauren and Stuart. The next five hours were spent signing autographs (crazy, non?!!!), being photographed, cutting fabric and writing out till receipts. Quite a few of my lovely blog readers were there (so great to meet you IRL!), and so many people were kind enough to say that we'd inspired them to get into sewing, from shy, giggling 5 year olds to pensioners. Debi and David flew in from Scotland especially, and one family had driven all the way from Devon as a surprise birthday treat for their young daughter. The queue outside was long, and the queue for the till was even longer - it went along three walls of the shop! But there was such a wonderful atmosphere in the place, everyone chatting, smiling, laughing, snapping shots and talking fabric, that people didn't mind hanging around for 3 hours or more to be part of it.

Having a giggle; and Lauren wearing her Miette skirt

At one point as I was head down cutting, I heard a familiar voice say across the crowds, "You'd better cut that right!", looked up to see gorgeous Sandra who'd come straight over from her cleaning shift at the hospital. Ann popped by too - I'd forgotten how much I missed her warmth and energy.

It was seriously inspiring to see the impact that the show has had on people's interest in sewing. Furthermore, it was incredible to see Lauren realising her dream. I must admit at one point I totes welled up and nearly started blubbing from excitement at her success (I don't think she spotted that!).

Huge congratulations to Lauren, and thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a special day. Best day ever?