Posted: 24.11.21 at 17:20 by Gwyn Griffiths
HERE at Crewe Nub News we aim to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups.
We have profiled some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a feature called UP CLOSE IN CREWE.
This week we meet Joanna Zygo who has launched a clothing business that provides a handy service for those looking for a quick alteration or repair to their garments.
At Tailoring Service Joanna, which opened recently at 43 Victoria Street, the experienced seamstress plans on using her skill set to fix the sort of jobs that leave us all, particularly men, confounded with our clothes.
From replacing a broken zip to shortening dresses and trousers it is the bread and butter chores of clothes maintenance that Joanna hopes to solve by filling a gap in the Crewe market.
But she says she can turn her hand to the high-end of the market too and will work on wedding dresses, while she is planning to make cushions and gifts to order.
“I will do anything, I will replace zips, shorten trousers and make clothes as well – it is almost everything. Most of the clothes I see I can make alterations with,” she says.
“I know people buy expensive clothes, but the fabric may not be of good quality and it needs attention.”
Joanna learnt her trade as a dressmaker in her native Poland and worked for Saville Row suit-maker Tony Lutwyche’s firm, Lutwyche Bespoke, in Crewe from 2014 until its closure last year.
She moved onto a Chester-based firm specialising in alterations, but harboured dreams to set up her own business in her hometown and end her commute.
“I was also working at home and making and selling to friends, so I was keen to go it on my own,” adds Joanna.
“As I live in Crewe I looked around to see if anyone was doing this line of business. I found that no-one was doing anything like this from a shop.
“I looked for a shop that would be good for me. I looked at a place at Market Hall but it was too small as I needed more space. I have another room upstairs here with my cutting table and lots of fabrics. Downstairs is for customers.”
Joanna says many of her new customers are from an older generation used to keeping their clothes circulating in their wardrobes rather than tossing them away into the recycling bag after a few months to make way for replacements from Primark.
She says she has leafleted around town to publicise her work and admits it will take time balancing the administrative side of her business with her alterations work.
“Older people have been coming in and asking about what I’m doing. Young people will check on the internet, but I have leafleted around the Crewe area and I am advertising by word of mouth too,” she adds.
“I will probably do an online shop as I plan on making cushions. But I need to check how busy I am as I am self-employed.
“If I become very busy maybe I will find someone [to help]. I’ve got friends who I worked in the clothing industry who may help, but at the moment I’m going it on my own.”
She has invested in specialised machinery so she can cover all her work. An overlock machine, a lock stitch machine and a walking foot machine have added to the equipment she has built up over the years. She sources her fabrics on Facebook Market Place.
Of the business’ USP, unique selling proposition, Joanna says: “I can do any job with sewing.
“Zips, trousers and dresses. But wedding dresses, evening dresses and prom dresses too - it is almost everything.”
She also hopes she can be part of a revival of town centre trade after the demolition of the Royal Arcade. She has joined several new outlets springing up on Victoria Street and Queensway in recent months.
“I saw plans for the new shopping centre back in 2007 and now it is still nothing,” she recalls.
“A lot has closed. I remember Wetherspoons and it was nice. I used to go in there with the girls I worked with after work.
“It’s a long time closed. This shop had been an empty unit for four or five years.
“But I hope now it is a good time and a good place to open up.”
Tailoring Service Joanna is open on Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and on Saturday from 9am to 3pm. It is closed on Sundays.
You can find Joanna on Facebook here.
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