Baby and Wool storeowner Nessie Moyes, 53, is celebrating five years since opening her shop in the High Street. She spoke to Aidan Barlow about her business and moving to Herne Bay
I originally opened at the beginning of October in 2009. I feel pleased with myself because I always thought I couldn’t do it. I’m happy here – I love it and look forward to coming in to work and enjoy coming in. When I set up the shop it was a spur of the moment thing. I had had some problems with my health and been given the all-clear. Just afterwards I was visiting the town and went through The Mall in the High Street back to the car park in William Street. I saw an advert in one of the shop windows next door looking for a new shop to open. I just thought that’s what I want to do. I haven’t looked back since.
What do you like about Herne Bay?
I have lived in Swalecliffe for all my life, but now I’m moving in to Herne Bay just around the corner from the shop. I do feel comfortable and at ease in the town. There are some lovely people who come in to say hello. I like the town, the people and the atmosphere. I’ve made a lot of friends from the customers who have come in. It’s quite social. Some of my regulars come in each day, sometimes just for a chat. It means if I don’t see them for a few days then I give them a call to check if they are airight.
What does your shop offer?
I try to change things around in the shop every few weeks so it is always bright and new. Even when I’m at home I’m thinking of how to rearrange things. I don’t like standing still so it’s good to keep changing. I like to let people come in and browse without watching over them with the pressure to buy something. I can offer advice on how things could work. I’m looking at offering lessons for knitting and crocheting, perhaps once a month on Wednesdays.
Tell us about your charity work
I’ve been fundraising for the Kent Air Ambulance for about two or three years because I wanted to do something for charity. The air ambulance is something we could all do with. You never know when you might need it. I’ve used ideas like people bringing in their leftover buttons or items. I rebag them and sell them, and all the proceeds then go to the air ambulance. I’ve raised more than £680, and I’m always doing similar things. It’s like recycling, where people can donate their unwanted things for others to make use of. Somebody might want them for their own crafting.
What do you think about the town centre market?
Everything in the town seems to happen in William Street and Mortimer Street. We are on the High Street but we’re ignored. We’re still the main road that people drive through when they are visiting the town. We’re on the bus route as well, so people might look and think ‘is this it?’ It was disappointing to see us left out of the market move. It has had a knock-on effect on our trade, which is definitely down on Saturdays. We used to get people who walked from the King’s Road market, down past Morrisons to the seat ront. They would go through the town and back to their cars along the High Street. But now they seem to ignore us and the seafront and just go straight into Mortimer Street. We’re all doing our best to keep fighting back. Perhaps once Aldi opens it will bring people down here a bit more often. It will put something here that people really want. But for now we all keep plodding along.
Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014