Angela celebrates her shop’s 30th anniversary with a draw for customers

WHEN Angela Reynolds set up her fabric business in Wisbech back in 1982 life in the town was very different, there was no Horsefair shopping centre, no by-pass and no World Wide Web.

Angela is still running Top Stitch Fabrics in Hill Street, and this month is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her successful shop with a free draw for customers.

“I have made 30 fabric draw string bags, and inside each bag there is some ribbon, thread, pins and other haberdashery items” said Angela, “Every customer is given a ticket for the draw, and we will declare the winner on July 30.”

Angela came to Wisbech back in 1977, to work as a graphic designer for Burrells of Wisbech. But her passion had always been dressmaking and patchwork, so on July 20 1982 she opened her shop, selling a variety of fabrics and haberdashery items.

Despite the growth of on-line shopping, Angela says high street shops still have an important role to play. “Nothing beats being able to touch and feel the fabric before making a choice, and we love helping our customers with projects and sewing problems,” she said. “Dressmaking is enjoying a revival recently and patchwork is always very popular. We stock some really cheerful fabrics, and we change our window regularly to keep up with the seasons and trends.”

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Angela is now looking for a new challenge, and the shop is up for sale. “I built up the business from nothing, and I have not made up my mind what I will move on to in the future,” she added. “I will miss it terribly, the last 30 years have gone by so quickly. I am still serving some original customers, and their daughters and granddaughters.”

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