Final curtain for Cotswold haberdashery
By Simon Hacker | 2nd February 2024
After serving more than three generations of customers, a fabric shop in Wotton-under-Edge is set to close.
Elizabeth Shirley has run Victoria Fabrics at 3, Market Street, Wotton-under-Edge, since 1994 after taking over the premises from local businessman Peter Pritchard, who ran a record store from the address.
While stressing that she intends to continue dressmaking and curtain work commissions from home, Elizabeth told Punchline-Gloucester.com that she'd sadly decided to close the retail outlet, but would be "keeping the sewing machine in action at a slower pace."
She added: "I would like to say a big thank you to all my customers. Some I have seen grow up, coming in with their mothers - and who now also bring their children in, too."
In a post to online followers, she said: "After nearly 30 years of owning and enjoying the shop, I have decided to retire. I shall be 70 this year, so I think now is the time to semi retire."
Over the years, Victoria Fabrics built up a customer base that included regular visitors from Bristol and Wales - and even some orders from Australia.
While the business had recently added a website, Elizabeth said that offering a physical retail space had been crucial to trade.
She said: "A website can never offer the same experience as hands-on shopping."
The business was named after Elizabeth's daughter, Victoria, who had just been born when the shop opened and who now works at Cardiff University after gaining a doctorate in Arthurian medieval literature.
But the name may not necessarily disappear from Wotton-under-Edge's retail offer: Elizabeth says she would still like to sell the business as a going concern and potential buyers can contact her for more details on 01453 521084.
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