Jennifer Davey ~ Owner
I grew up as one of five siblings in the Hafod – a remote, picturesque forestry estate 18 miles inland from the coastal town of Aberystwyth, West Wales.
Our house was situated up a long winding forestry track – off-grid and miles from tarmac roads and mains electricity.
Our childhood was characterised and shaped by simple, basic living, enriched by our wild surrounds and coloured and resourced by our imaginations.
We were blessed to have free-rein to indulge both – something I’m eternally grateful to my parents for. My siblings and I are all now self-employed and running creative, practical enterprises whose seeds were all planted in those early, formative years of basic, resourceful living.
I was always making things as a child. But I trace my love of sewing and playing with fabric to my grandmother, who was always making dresses for my sister and I.
My first sewing lessons however, came from Margaret Kibble, a family friend who taught me to sew at the age of nine.
In my teens, I took up textiles as a subject at the local comprehensive school and carried this on at college, on a Fashion and Textiles course at Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthen. All the while, I continued to design and make garments – for both adults and children.
I went on to make my sister’s wedding dress, which led me to study pattern cutting and garment construction. This developed into a a home-based sewing and tailoring business, Jennifer Rose Designs, which I wove around bringing up my two young children.
In 2017, I took the leap and re-opened Aberdashery in Aberystwyth – and now run the dovetailing businesses, together.
Aberdashery was originally established by Jane Allen, who built up the business over several years. Sadly, due to ill health, Jane had to put the business up for sale.
I was one of her customers, running my sewing business from home around my young family. And I was always popping in to the shop for materials. After long conversations with Jane, she encouraged me to take on the business. So I took the leap and re-opened Aberdashery in September 2017.
I’ve always dreamed of running a fabric shop. My Dad even bought me a wooden antique till years ago – which is now finally being put to good use in my very own shop!
I’m very grateful for all of Jane’s mentoring, advice and support. It was lovely to have her blessing and goodwill before she sadly passed away. I couldn’t have done it without her and her faithful customers have come flooding back and are always very appreciative and supportive of my new venture.
Most of my days in the shop are spent offering advice on sewing and technique. People come in to the shop specifically for this ‘personal service’ – something you only really get in specialist shops run by people also practicing the trade themselves.
It’s heartening to see a renewed interest in crafts and ‘making’ generally across the UK in recent years. We have a strong and steadfast craft heritage in this country which is seeing a comeback. People are rediscovering a love for making things by themselves, by hand – unique items to keep or offer as gifts – for both practical and creative reasons.
It’s a personal highlight of my work, that I’m able to help that along with the services and materials I offer at the shop.