Melanie Acey admits she is blown away by the fact that the retail enterprise she has owned and run for three years is in line for a national award.
The Fabric Shop in Melrose has been shortlisted in the Best Haberdashery Shop in Scotland category of the 2014 British Sewing Awards.
Online voting is now under way to see if the High Street outlet can fend off the challenge of two shops in Edinburgh and one in Linlithgow.
Melanie commented: “It’s all very humbling and a real vindication of what we’ve been trying to achieve. I’m really pleased for my staff who are so helpful and for all our lovely customers, one of whom admitted she’d submitted the nomination in September.”
The shortlisting will come as no surprise to those who beat a path to The Fabric Shop for all their sewing, knitting and haberdashery needs.
It was her own passion and flair for sewing that convinced former social worker Melanie to take over a business first established 20 years ago.
She told us: “I’ve basically stuck to the same winning formula, although I have expanded the stock. One of the nicest aspects is being able to offer help and advice. It’s a very friendly environment, people love to browse and chat, and there’s never a dull moment.”
Melanie, who also offers sewing lessons in the purpose-built studio of her home near Caddonfoot, admits there has been a resurgence in interest in sewing and home crafts.
“It seems to have skipped a generation, but more and more young women and quite a lot of men are getting involved. I often get grannies and granddaughters coming into the shop. It’s great that skills are getting passed down,” she said.
The shop also collects quilts on behalf of child charity Project Linus, donates to raffles organised by Children First and sells unused wool and fabrics for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Customers can vote for The Fabric Shop on www.sewmag.co.uk/awards/ or www.facebook.com/thefabricshopmelrose.