Mov­ing their patch again

Napier Courier - - NEWS - BY BRENDA VOWDEN [email protected]

The sunny side of Emer­son St may not be a patch on the shadier side, es­pe­cially for a team of ded­i­cated crafts­peo­ple who have upped sticks and moved shop to be­gin their 40th year in busi­ness.

Pur­ple Patch has gone al­most full cir­cle, be­gin­ning life a few doors down from their new premises, in a back room of the Colenso Cham­bers build­ing, where they stayed for 13 years. Across on the sunny side, the patch was theirs for 26 years be­fore re­ceiv­ing a let­ter from the land­lord a few months ago al­most dou­bling their rent.

“It would have been un­sus­tain­able to stay. A cus­tomer came in and knew of an empty shop across the road — it all fell into place,” says Pur­ple Patch pres­i­dent Jan Cooper.

More than 60 mem­bers pro­duce a huge range of knitwear, wooden toys, jew­ellery, kitchen tiles, cro­cheted doilies, dolls clothes, hand tow­els, adult knitwear, hang­ing mo­biles and other crafts in­clud­ing “lots of Art Deco”.

“I don’t think a lot of peo­ple re­alise what we’ve got in here,” Jan says.

Since Novem­ber 1979, Pur­ple Patch has been do­nat­ing a por­tion of prof­its from the sale of its crafts to a va­ri­ety of char­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Child Can­cer, Kid­ney So­ci­ety, St John, Christ­mas Cheer Ap­peal,

‘It would have been un­sus­tain­able to stay. A cus­tomer came in and knew of an empty shop across the road place.’ — it all fell into JAN COOPER, Pur­ple Patch pres­i­dent

SPCA, Red Cross, Birthright, Bar­na­dos, Age Con­cern and Cran­ford. Next April is Pur­ple Patch’s 40th AGM.

Jan says they have their ups and downs, en­joy­ing a boost dur­ing cruise ship sea­son and when hol­i­day mak­ers re­turn each year. They also have out-oftown­ers who place orders by text.

“Our ladies come in, fill the shelves and we sell it. Our crafts are su­perbly made — it’s qual­ity. Any­thing left, we donate to char­ity.” Jan says any­one is wel­come to bring their crafts in.

“Just pop in — we try not to dou­ble up. We don’t know what’s com­ing in from one day to the next.”

Four vol­un­teers staff the shop each day, two in the morn­ing and two in the af­ter­noon. There’s al­ways room for more, Jan says.

“I be­lieve there’s a swing back to qual­ity.”


Pur­ple Patch pres­i­dent Jan Cooper in the new shop, Emer­son St, Napier.

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