When was the company founded and how did it come about?
Previously, I worked as a fabric designer in the industry. The small and large textile companies in Forst closed down, but I was keen to stay in Forst. Sewing has always been my passion, and I had the dream of a small shop for a very long time. My childhood dream became my perspective. I prepared myself for it and researched whether a fabric store in Forst would also work. On October 24, 1998 I opened my first small store in Cottbuser Straße 103. In the meantime I have moved three times. This is my fourth store.
What do you like best about it?
Working with people – seeing them happy. I love my work, I look forward to my sewing machine and my customers every day. Twice a year I organize an event and then when all my customers come and are happy, it’s really fun.
What is difficult?
The internet competition is especially noticeable in children’s fabrics. But with fabrics it’s a little different than with other items. But a lot of customers also come in and say, “Ms. Grätz, we just want to touch the fabrics, we want to see the patterns.” I have now included quite a lot of children’s fabrics in my range.
There have also been difficult times when there wasn’t so much sewing going on. A few divisions have fallen away, such as dance groups, carnival and graduation ball. Now many people have their clothes sent to them and we have to change it. You have to adjust to that a bit, not have too high expectations, stay grounded and then it works.
Are there any typical customers?
I don’t necessarily rely on walk-in customers. With fabrics, people come specifically. You don’t pick up a meter of fabric in passing, like coffee in the supermarket. I also have ready-sewn pieces or haberdashery, such as a zipper. That’s something you can buy in passing.
My customer base is very good and comes from all over the region, from Cottbus and the surrounding area. In the past, many customers were between 45 and 60 years old. In the last 2 to 3 years, a lot of young people have joined. It’s a boom now, that young mothers sew a lot themselves, because it’s also very easy. I have a lot of space and am thinking of organizing a small sewing school for those who want to learn to sew.