Situated at 1 Upper Paul Street, Exeter just past the Museum and leading into Gandy Street, Meme is a wonderfully inspiring fabric boutique.
I happened there by chance last weekend, on my search for something quite specific. So I thought I'd pop in and take a look.
I was immediately taken with the 'homely'-ness of this place... it's exactly the kind of shop that gets my creative juices going. Everything was laid out well and simply branded and the walls were covered in inspiration boards and pattern ideas. I feel like I'm back in Berwick Street (London, near the London College of Fashion where I used to study). There was a shop there, called The Cloth House which I adored visiting for fabric inspiration... could this be my Exeter version? I stayed a while to find out.
On entering a new shop I always try to make eye contact with the shop keeper, or sales person. I find often that, that moment of engagement is an important factor in my reaction to the shop... will I love it, or will I be put off? Rachel, who creates beautiful hand knits and works with her Aunt Catarina (the owner) was handling her lap top and excitedly chatting away to a customer about Pinterest... the Technophile in me was immediately impressed... here is a Girl who can talk my language. I'll stay a bit longer and take a good look at the goodies on the shelves.
I find myself very taken with the creativity here... There are some really simple, but effective sewing patterns; easy enough for a beginner and easy to embellish upon for those more advanced. Meme have paired up these patterns with some great printed fabrics to make kits... perfect gift ideas! These also make fabric choice vs. silhouette selection so much easier for the less confident fashionista/seamstress. Rachel later tells me that Catarina is a pattern cutter, so I'm confident that buying will be a painless sewing experience in my craft room.
Like any crafter I'm also a sucker for shiny things and ribbons, so these cute inspiration jars are to die for! They are exactly the kind of thing I would never worry about opening... a travesty I'm sure, but bear with me... instead they could sit on my sewing room mantel piece and just look adorable surrounded by old wooden cotton reels and maybe a stray ball of gorgeous hand spun yarn!
When Rachel was free I approached her with my quest to find that very specific thing. I was almost certain they didn't have it... I'm being so specific I think I will have to make it myself, but this was an opportunity to find out how helpful she would be. To my delight, while she didn't have what I was looking for (and I really know at this stage I'm asking too much of any shop and just should pull my finger out and just make it), Rachel was however very charming and helpful. So we chatted a little longer about phone apps making social networking so much easier and I asked if she'd mind me blogging about the shop... I just knew I had to share my find with you.
If you are in, or able to visit Exeter, or even just passing through on holiday I do recommend giving Meme a visit. If you can't make it to the shop then you can shop on-line at www.memefabricshop.co.uk