Legacy of long-standing St Albans haberdashery will live on with new owner

Simone Taylor. Picture: Claire Connold Photography

Simone Taylor. Picture: Claire Connold Photography - Credit: Archant

A local mum has taken over a legendary St Albans haberdashery to preserve its legacy.

Fashion ‘n’ Fabrics was opened by Christine Campbell in Beech Road in 1971, offering a range of craft items, fabrics, sewing paraphernalia, and textiles must-haves.

The business was a staple of the St Albans community for 46 years until Christine passed away in 2017.

Seven years ago, Simone Taylor joined a patchwork class at the shop and fell in love with her new hobby.

She therefore jumped at the chance to preserve the shop’s legacy, putting in an offer to Christine’s children early this year.

She said: “I am very pleased to be able to continue Christine’s legacy and upgrade the shop and some of the ranges that are in store already.

“I am also looking at creating a website in the next few months to help those people that can’t get to the store.”

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She is going to redecorate and start up numerous classes, including patchwork, dressmaking, knitting, crocheting, needlefelting, and children’s sewing .

There is a classroom at the back of the shop which was built by Christine in 1997.

None of the existing staff will lose their jobs, Simone explained: “They are part of the legacy that Christine left behind and for me personally, they are the key, they are the knowledge with how much they know about everything that goes on with the shop.

“It’s years of knowledge that I personally don’t have.”

Simone, who grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to St Albans in 1998, described it as a “very exciting time” for the shop.

“I am really excited and a little bit daunted because what Christine created is amazing.”

Running a shop is uncharted territory for Simone, who used to be a computer programmer before she started a family.

She now has three children and the family live in Marshalswick.

Chris left four children, six grand-children and one great-grandchild when she passed away.

Her children ran the shop in the transition period until Simone took over.

Before Fashion ‘n’ Fabrics was set up, the retail space was a cobbler and later a golf shop.