Knitting in technology to Rasen shop

Many retailers have had to reassess their businesses over the past year and for one Rasen business owner it has all proved to have a positive effect.

Jaycee Parkin, Angela Taylor and Gail Lee

There is no denying that all businesses - small and large - have felt the pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

Those essential retailers allowed to remain open adapted - as have the customers - to one-way systems, limited access and facemasks.

For others forced to close their doors, it has certainly been a time of stress and uncertainty for the future.

However, Gail Lee, who owns Market Rasen’s Stitch Witch has said it gave her the opportunity to update her working practice and invest in technology.

She said: “In the first lockdown, lots of people turned to or returned to craft and that upsurge has continued.

“Although we have always had a Facebook Page, we didn’t have an online shop, so we took the opportunity to bring ourselves into the modern age and invested in creating a website, as well as a system to run a fully functional shop system.”

Gail, along with Jaycee Parkin and Angela Taylor, set about cataloguing and photographing all the items in the Union Street - not an easy task with the thousands of items squirrelled away on the shelves and in the store room.

Gail said: “It has been a long job, but we have done it and now can maintain stock control through our till system and can offer a much wider service to our customers.”

Gail also praised West Lindsey District Council for the help received over the past year from the business team.

She said: “They really have been very helpful and the workshop with business guru Clare Rayner was a great help too.”

Gail continued: “It is all about helping each other out too, so I wanted to make sure I used local businesses for my updated look.

“Babbit Web Design have been fantastic giving us just what we want for our website, while Janet’s Alterations and our local DIY store have been used to brighten the shop itself.”

However, while all this modern technology is being embraced, Gail is certain there is one thing that it can never replace.

She said: “Good old fashioned customer service - we pride ourselves on it, and whether shopping in person or through our online shop, we guarantee it will be there.”

Gail continued: “We are also really looking forward to starting our knit & natter and workshop sessions when restrictions allow.

“We are more than a shop; we are a crafting community and it is that face to face contact we have all been missing and which will be so welcome when we can do it all again.”