Abergavenny classic fashion shop to close

South Wales Argus: SHUTTING DOWN: Lydia Price and Eva Gardiner in the Abergavenny shop SHUTTING DOWN: Lydia Price and Eva Gardiner in the Abergavenny shop

SOCIAL enterprise and shop Vintage Vision in Abergavenny will shut at the end of the month, after nearly five years in the town.

The group behind the project made the difficult decision after a lack of sales and recent bad weather caused damage to the Frogmore Street property.

But plans are still going ahead to open an online hub at Blaenavon.

The social enterprise is exploring other ways of maintaining a high profile in Abergavenny and ideas include having a stall in the Wednesday ‘flea’ market or a space in other shops or available buildings.

“At some point in the future we'd like to find somewhere in Abergavenny – not on the high street - where we can run our regular sewing classes, without the high rental costs of the current shop,” said Bernadette Kelly, director and treasurer.

“We moved from Lion Street to a more central location in Frogmore Street in the hope that we would increase sales, but that just hasn’t happened.

“An additional difficulty has been the state of the shop roof in the recent storms which means we have been unable to open up.”

The social enterprise started nearly five years ago in Abergavenny.

Shops were then opened in Broad Street, Blaenavon, and St Mary Street, Chepstow, which will remain open.

“A small group of local women started Vintage Vision because we wanted to give women an opportunity to share knowledge, develop confidence and new skills and access training and work experience,” said Mrs Kelly. “We offer workshops, talks and classes on vintage and textile restyling themes. By sourcing, repairing and marketing vintage and retro clothing, we can also avoid waste and not send textiles to landfill.”

In addition, thanks to a recent grant, the Blaenavon shop will become the centre for a new online project to develop a website selling high quality vintage clothes. A project manager has been appointed and volunteers are needed to help run the new online ordering and delivery service. As part of the same grant, two paid interns, at Chepstow and Abergavenny, will be taken on for three months.

The social enterprise has won a number of grants to run successful projects such as sewing classes.

The shops at Abergavenny and Chepstow partnered up with the towns’ museums for a unique ‘What is Fashion?’ project in which groups of women researched the textile collections at museums and, with expert tuition, created new pieces.

Their work went on display in the museums while a pop-up museum was on show in the shops, collecting shoppers’ stories about favourite pieces of clothing.

The management committee is looking for some additional board members, particularly from Blaenavon and the Torfaen area. For more information e-mail info@vintagevision.org.uk

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