Mask madness as Banbury Sewing Centre sales soar


People searching locally made bespoke face masks that look great are flocking to Parson’s Street

A long running Banbury business has become the must-visit place in town as an indirect result of the coronavirus pandemic.    The Banbury Sewing Centre has seen long queues forming as it has quickly become known as the place to go to get good quality, washable, locally made face masks.

With the wearing of face coverings becoming mandatory in shops from tomorrow (Friday) people have been searching for suitable, fairly priced face masks.   The Banbury Sewing Centre in Parson’s Street set up a stall last Saturday and saw twenty minute queues forming as people rushed to purchase the bespoke designs.

Owner Amy-Leigh Brennan-Rogers is very grateful for the support her business is getting from local people.   Amy said, “We had passers by, regular customers and new customers all coming in to get their masks.   It was a great atmosphere – a wonderful day.   I honestly couldn’t believe that my little shop in Parson’s Street had a twenty minute queue to get in”.

The Banbury Sewing Centre has been a familiar feature of Parson’s Street for the last forty years.   Amy’s mum Tracey Ann O’Carroll had previously run the shop for fifteen years but sadly passed away in January this year.   Amy said, “I decided to carry it on and take it over.   I couldn’t bear to see it disappear from the street”.

When lockdown struck earlier this year the Banbury Sewing Centre was forced to close the Parson’s Street shop, but carried on trading using the ShopAppy system, organised by Banbury BID.   Amy said, “We donated a lot of mask making kits for free which people ordered from the ShopAppy store.   It included enough fabric to make ten masks and we were asking people to donate those masks to the vulnerable, to use them for their family or donate them out to health centres, care homes or places that really needed them”.

Now the shop is back open the designs from Amy and her team are proving very popular.   Amy said, “We’ve got ready made ones – some of the plainer ones will go with anything.   We’ve also got some designer ones – we’ve got a big range of designer fabrics in.

“We’ve also been doing made-to-order as lots of people have come in with ideas of what they might like, so we’ve being doing them bespoke.   With children they want something they recognise to make it a little bit less scary.

“They’ve almost become the new pocket square or tie; I think the face mask is going to become the new statement”.

The Banbury Sewing Centre will be running another #maskmadness day on Saturday with a stall outside the shop on Parson’s Street through the day selling face masks.

You can listen to our interview with Amy here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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