This week we take some time to have a chat to Raquel who has been successfully running the show for us on Saturdays since well before Christmas. Coming from a home interiors background, she has shed a different yet equally creative eye on the proceedings at the shop, and her enthusiasm for all our lovely wares has been a delight to witness – read on to hear her take on what’s what at Emporia.
Who are you and what is your position at Emporia?
My name is Raquel and I am the Saturday manager, working alongside lovely Millie.
What have you been doing since you started?
I started working at Emporia back in October last year. Working only once a week is a little tricky as it has taken me a while to get to grips with the versatility of the business, as Emporia is so much more than a shop selling beautiful fabrics. I have assisted with some of the children’s sewing parties which has been so much fun! Also meeting the local customers and helping them choosing anything from the shop, from fabric to wool or presents has been a highlight as I really enjoy chatting and everyone is very friendly.
What else do you do with your time?
I have a very active three year old boy who keeps me on my toes constantly. Recently we moved from London to Ashford so getting used to the country life has taken my s lot of my attention. We have a massive garden and I have been busy just keeping it tidy. Also I have been making curtains for all the rooms in the cottage where we live as each of the windows seems to be a different size, but it has been great getting my sewing machine out of the cupboard.
What crafts do you like to do?
I make fabric handbags for family and friends in a patchwork style; every one is different and I customise them according to taste. It’s a bit of a hobby and I enjoy making them although is time consuming. I also love upcycling old furniture, giving the pieces a new lease of life. I worked in a paint shop for ten years so I became quite knowledgeable about the techniques as well as getting very into choosing the right colours to achieve a beautiful result. Recently I have been working on a nest of tables and I am pleased with the outcome of both. Painting is very relaxing!
Are there any fabrics that have caught your eye so far? Do you have any plans to make anything with them?
There are so many I like! Anything bright catches my eye and I love some of the children’s fabrics, but my favourites are the ones with a retro feeling about them. I have never tried using patterns properly and I would love to get into it and maybe make something simple for myself like a skirt or a dress. I see Clair wearing amazing clothes she makes with fabric from the shop and I get so jealous, it makes me want to start a competition to create the new Emporia uniform for the staff, so watch this space!
We’ve got loads of classes taking place at the shop currently – which ones from the spring 2016 list inspire you?
I am very fortunate working on Saturdays when many of the classes take place so I have been watching and wishing I was one of the learners. I would like to sit down with Mandy for the patchwork class as I could definitely do with learning the technique properly to use it on my fabric handbags. Also the pyjamas workshop sounds like my cup of tea and would be great to make them for presents or treats.
Thanks Raquel! A competition to design a staff uniform eh? Only if it can feature pyjama bottoms …
(And if you’re interested in making your own pj bottoms, or some for a friend or child of yours, pop into the shop for more info on the classes taking place on Saturday 30th January and Saturday 27th February 2016.)