How long have you been running your business?
In 2015 I took over the business from the Shetland Art Company in 2015 and changed the name back to Loose Ends, which it had been prior to the art shop.
What was your inspiration for starting your own business?
I was gifted a voucher from my family and went into the shop to spend it. That is when I found out it was for sale. I just love everything about knitting and started knitting when I was only 4 years old. By the time I was 6 I had knitted my first Fair Isle dolls hat, and I had my first entry in a local art exhibition. I had always thought about having my own business, but I had a career in the Seafood industry, so id never found the right time to pursue that thought.
Tell us what you offer/sell?
• Knitting accessories
• Quilting fabrics
• Shetland gifts
• Local knitwear
What is your favourite thing about running your own business?
I love everything about wool and knitting so I am in my element working in the shop.
What do you think has changed the most about your business since you started?
Since starting in 2015 quite a lot has changed. We have expanded the shop in size and increased what we have to offer. Our customer base has increased massively, and we have many more tourists visiting Shetland than we had in 2015.
Due to demand, we offer many more products now than we did back in 2015. In 2019 we had the opportunity to take over another premises on the Street and offer a space for classes and a mini crafters market. We offered tables to rent to crafters and it took off really well. When the lower part of this building became available, we decided to take on that shop and turn it into a mini makers market where crafters can rent a space and sell their products.
This is a great opportunity for local crafters to showcase their products within a shop without the overheads of renting or buying a shop. Currently we have 4 crafters who are renting a space from us and hopefully when the tourists return, they will do very well.
We also have a space that can be used by tutors to hold classes which in the past have always been very popular.
Why did you choose Lerwick town centre as a location?
The shop and opportunity already existed in Lerwick town centre, so really Lerwick chose me!
What has been the most challenging thing to you, as a business owner, over the last year?
During lockdown more and more people took up new hobbies this included knitting. So, demand for wool increased and suppliers could not keep up. There is a limited number of suppliers and these have all been affected by Corona Virus, so getting products delivered has been a challenge.
We do see a lot of tourists in our shop, so this has been a big miss over the past 12 months, we really hope to see them back soon.
What would you say to a customer to encourage them to visit your business?
Just pop in and see what we have to offer. If you fancy taking up a new hobby then come and speak to us, we will be able to advise you on what you need and maybe even have a class available to help get you started. We offer a personal service, and all our staff have different knowledge and skills which helps you get what you need for your crafting project.
Tell us one interesting fact about you that people may not know?
After a short pause……
I was a lighthouse child!
I lived in many lighthouses in Scotland including, Fair Isle, Stromness, Skerries, Lerwick, Sutherland and Fraserburgh. Every 4 years we used to move to a new lighthouse which was hard as a child as you were constantly having to make new friends, but I think that is what makes me such a chatty and approachable person now a days.