Bronwyn has been right behind The Monthly Stitch and Indie Pattern Month since the very first in 2013. Her online store Patter Postie is a great NZ resource and we checked back in with her this year to learn a bit more about it.
Welcome back Bronwyn! First up, tell us all a bit about your business. How would you describe your style/aesthetic?
My business Pattern Postie is a website selling sewing patterns (current and out of print), magazines and sewing notions. I also stock Singer sewing machines and Tailormade sewing cabinets.
My personal style would be vintage and handmade, they have a special something that you just don’t find in most modern mass produced items.
How did your come up with the name for your business?
I wanted a name that had a nice ring to it and made it clear what the business is about so I brainstormed a list and decided on Pattern Postie.
We’d love to know the story behind your business. What inspired you to create a store and sell patterns? How did it all start?
While shopping for patterns and my boy (who was under one) grizzled the whole time I was looking through the books, when I finally got to the counter all the patterns on my list were sold out. I went home to buy them off the internet and to my surprise no one was doing it in New Zealand. Then I got completely obsessed with making a website and just went for it.
I have always loved sewing patterns and have a huge personal collection of vintage ones, it was just a perfect fit for me.
And looking forwards, where would you like your business to be in five years time?
I don’t really have a plan, I just take it one day at a time. It would be nice to extend my sales overseas as I sell a lot of patterns that can be tricky to find elsewhere. In a year my kids will both be at school and it will be nice to have better “business hours” at the moment I often answer emails and process orders after the kids are in bed.
There are so many independent designers now selling PDF patterns, it would be great to see some of them move into paper patterns as well so I could stock Kiwi designers.
Who or what inspires you with your business?
My customers do. It has been amazing to connect with so many people and be involved in some small way in their creations. I just love seeing all the new patterns come out and dreaming about which ones I will sew, unfortunately my sewing time is very limited at the moment!
How do you decide what to stock?
I stock the full range of all the major brands. With the independent brands I tend to look at what people are requesting and look at those first. With the trim and buttons I buy what takes my fancy and hope other people will like it as well! I really like stocking something different like back issues or out-of-print patterns because some have such a short life span (like a month for a Burda magazine) but people are often looking for a particular pattern in an issue years down the track.
What do you find is most popular with your customers?
The out-of-print Vogue patterns are very popular as they are a great price and very hard to find. The Burda magazines are also a great seller I post those all around the world.
Pretend we’re sending you on a deserted island sewing holiday. We’ll give you a machine and some fabric but which 5 patterns from your store would you bring with you?
Ohh that’s a tricky one
- Jalie 2568 so I could master the art of undies (then I could wear something handmade every day)
- Simplicity 1873 My most popular pattern of all time and one I would really like to make.
- McCalls 6614 I really love a hoodie and could never have too many.
- Simplicity 1477 have always wanted to make a fox coat.
- If I was allowed I would definitely take an Ottobre Kids and some tracing paper, it would keep me going forever!
It’s great for the kiwi sewists amongst us to have such an amazing pattern resource here in NZ. We get stung when it comes to overseas shipping so we’re very lucky Bronwyn is here sourcing some great hard-to-find magazine and OOP patterns.
As well as donating an international prize towards the One Pattern, Two Takes competition, Bronwyn also has a copy of an Ottobre magazine for one of our lucky NZ readers. I’ve shown you some of the amazing things Brownyn stocks in her online store bu now it’s your turn to tell us what your favourtie item is. Simply take a look around the Pattern Postie website and tell us which item you love the most. This competition is only open to NZ residents and remember to leave a link so we can see your pick. We’ll draw a winner at random on July 5th.
Thanks so much Bronwyn! xx