New shop inspired by couple’s passion for knitting, stitching and all things Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
A Sheringham couple with a shared passion for knitting and stitching have opened a new homewares shop selling all things Norfolk, from handmade soaps and candles, to cushions inspired by the ganseys worn by the county's fishermen.
David Beard and Stephen Lumb, who met 18 years ago while working for an ethical homewares importer and retailer, began selling their own hand-crafted products online after moving to Upper Sheringham from Cambridge two years ago.
Although doing a steady trade and attracting customers from as far afield as Singapore and New York, the pair were keen to expand their range and give shoppers a chance to see their products at first hand.
"We had some success, but because we are both from a retail background and we know shops so well, we knew that people needed to see and touch what we are selling and, of course, you get much more direct feedback selling in person," Mr Lumb explained.
Deciding on Sheringham as the perfect location, the couple were delighted when a unit in The Courtyard, off Station Road, became available and opened Cottonwood Home a few weeks ago.
"We knew we wanted to be along the coast and one of the reasons we came to Sheringham was that it seemed like a very active town, not just a seasonal one," Mr Beard said.
The shop stocks Norfolk-made products from ceramics to jewellery, as well as an ever-changing range of hand crafted homewares created by Mr Beard and Mr Lumb, from lampshades and coin purses, to upcycled picture frames.
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Mr Lumb taught himself to knit, while Mr Beard, who previously ran charity shops for Norfolk hospice Priscilla Bacon Lodge, learned to sew and crochet by watching YouTube tutorials.
As well as crafting their own products, the couple also work together on projects, scouring junk shops and car boot sales for small items of furniture to remodel.
Recent finds have included a kitchen stool which they repainted and finished with a crocheted seat pad, and a gold-tasselled velour ottoman, which is now covered in a stylish, modern fabric.
"The joy of recycling things is that you never know what is underneath," Mr Lumb said. "But we are both keen artists and makers, we love what we do and, so far, we are meeting our targets for our first year, which is great."
Cottonwood Home is in The Courtyard, Station Road, Sheringham. For more information, visit www.cottonwoodworkshop.com