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Fabric Plus ‘filling a void’ in local fabric industry

Fabric Plus ‘filling a void’ in  local fabric industry

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Those working within the textile industry have been given a breath of fresh air, with the launch of a new store that promises to service all their fabric and sewing needs.

Having opened on June 26, Fabric Plus, which is located on the first floor of the Sprott Brothers building on Upper Bay Street, sells a wide variety of fabrics – from jersey,{{more}} lycra and 100 per cent cotton, to stretch lace, chiffon and African print fabric, among others.

Store manager Merle Phillips said that not only does Fabric Plus provide fabric, it also offers finishing touches such as needles, thread, equipment for sewing machines, scissors, mannequins and much more.

“Anything you can think about, we offer it. Even if we don’t have it in the store, we can get it for you,” asserted Phillips.

She added: “We are trying to make the quality of whatever we put out 100 per cent. We are not just going to stay indoors and hope for the customers to come in; we go out and meet the customers.”

Fabric Plus, which is owned by Lonley and Maefika Duncan, currently has a workforce of three, which includes Phillips, the store manager; sales and marketing executive/textile consultant Rachel Bailey; and store assistant Doneika Cunningham.

Phillips further elaborated that, since its launch, the store has been receiving a good response.

“Every day you see new faces and customers coming back from the beginning. Sales are not where we would like it to be, but it is early in the business.”

Phillips said that the team is very focused, not only on putting out quality products, but also to build up a customer base or persons whose line of work entails them dealing with fabrics – whether they are seamstresses, tailors, designers, upholsterers, or else.

Although working within the textile industry is somewhat new for her, Phillips said she has picked up a great wealth of knowledge, and is excited about the future prospects of Fabric Plus.

“People have been coming in saying ‘yes, we have been waiting for this for while’. Before that, you were getting people saying they can’t find what they are looking for.”

In the future, Fabric Plus is looking to introduce bulk T-shirt sales, store fixture services, and leather and denim fabric to its line-up.

Sales and marketing executive Rachel Bailey echoed the sentiment that public response to the new store has been encouraging, and that she is looking forward to how much the business will grow.

Bailey, who has a background in fashion retail/merchandising, sewing and accessory design, said that many – including herself – have previously lamented not being able to source the fabrics to suit their needs locally; so Fabric Plus is essentially “filling a void.”

“So this is like a Holy Grail for us! There is actually a store where you can come in and see fabric. Or even if there is a particular fabric you can’t find, we can source it for you.”

Store assistant Doneika Cunningham said that working at Fabric Plus has been somewhat of an enlightenment for her, in that she was unaware that the demand for variety in fabric and sewing accessories was so great.

“I know that Fabric Plus will be a successful venture, and we will have even more of a turnout as we work along with locals.”

Fabric Plus opens Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (JSV)

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