Local Business Interview
18th January 2017
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“So when did you open the business?”

“We opened the business just over 2 years ago back in September 2014.”

“What made you decide to start this? Was it something you had a career in or is it a hobby turned career?”

“Well I have done dress making for as long as I can remember, then around 16 years ago I started doing it as a career working from home. After training Michael up on the dress making we had the opportunity to actually open the shop, so it was more progression, we had the workshop at home and then felt there was a need in the area for good fabrics so took the opportunity.” 

“Can you tell us about the range of fabrics you supply?”

“Ok, we concentrate on dress making rather than craft and furnishing fabrics so we do bridal, fashion, costume and dance fabrics. Because we are small we can’t keep as much stock as we would like but if people ask for something we will always try to source it for them.”

“Would it be fair to compare your dress making with Saville Row Bespoke Tailoring? I say this because of your design, making and fabric sourcing services.”

“Well, Saville Row would be more tailoring and we don’t tend to do that, we are more women’s dress making. We have really done everything from bikinis up to wedding dresses. Bridal and special occasion is more our specialist area. Saying that since we have opened the shop we have had requests for all sorts of weird and wonderful things as well as clothes, we tend not to say no to anything.”

“So do you also provide the accessories for dressmaking?”

“Yes we do haberdashery as well so we have zips, threads etc but we can always source what ever the customer would need, this also helps us build up our range that way.”

“Where do you source your fabrics from?”

“Various places, we have several different suppliers which are all in England, we don’t import anything. We are always on the look out for new suppliers however to keep our ranges up to date.”

“So what makes you business unique?”

“I think certainly our personal service, the fact that we are willing to look for fabrics if we don’t have them in stock, we will always try our very best to help people find exactly what they are looking for. We give a lot of free advice if people aren’t quite sure what they are doing. We will spend a lot of time with customers going through things and explaining anything that they need a bit of help with. They are welcome to come in anytime, so yes our personal service is what I think make us unique. We like to say once your gone you’re not gone, you can always come back, our advice doesn’t cost anything.”

 

“Do you run any classes here for people interested in sewing and dressmaking?”

“Yes. We run a sewing club every Tuesday night from 6:30 – 9:30, its £10 for a session and you can do what ever you want. It’s a drop in club so you don’t have to sign up for 6 weeks or anything like that, you can just come along on the night. The people that come like that fact they are not tied down to anything, if you can’t come one week it doesn’t matter. You can bring you own projects and get help with them, learn to do pattern cutting or using the machines. You can do anything from sewing on a button to making your own wedding dress. There is no limit on what people can do. Come along tell us what you want or are trying to do and we will do our best to help you. It’s fairly new as we started it in October time, but It has been great fun and we have some lovely ladies that come along and we have a good laugh.”

“What does the future hold for Michael Tracy Fabrics?”

“We hope to expand and we would like to increase our ranges of fabrics. We are always looking for new fabrics and there are so many more we would like to get in. To us everything is fabric we love it and would love to be able to supply everything. So yes, to increase but also to expand on the lessons, we love people coming in to learn new skills, teaching people how to do it themselves is great to do. Sewing had slowed down for a while but now it is becoming very popular again.”  

“Finally what made you open up in Chelmsford?”

“We are local. It wasn’t an easy choice as it is a lot cheaper to go elsewhere but we really did feel Chelmsford needed a business with the services we supply.”

“It was great meeting up with Michael and Tracy to learn more about what they do. Michael and Tracy are yet again another great example of a thriving local Chelmsford business.”

For regular updates please see their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/michaeltracyfabrics/
or visit the website www.michaeltracyfabrics.co.uk

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Thomas B

Member since: 2nd April 2013

Hi I'm Tom Bosher

I run thebestofchelmsford and am passionate about helping the independent businesses in Chelmsford thrive and achieve their goals.

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