Independents’ Day - what Charlie loves about living and working in Sidmouth
- Credit: Archant
Charlie Gwillim, of Devon Embroidery, in Sidmouth, writes about her business.
Please introduce yourself...
Hey, My name is Charlie Gwillim and I’m the new owner of Devon Embroidery in Cross Lane, Sidmouth Town Centre. We aim to offer high quality embroidered logos and names, at reasonable prices, with a high standard of customer service. All of our embroidery is completed in-house, which allows us complete quality control over the garments and means we can keep customers fully notified throughout the process.
What is your favourite building in town and why?
My favourite building is in High Street and belonged to my late grandad and I still live there.
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What do you think is the town’s biggest asset?
I think the town’s biggest asset is its community! I am a born and bred Sidmothian and over the years I have noticed how, when things get tough, we all rally round and help each other. I also think that the youth of Sidmouth are another asset, those of us who have decided to stay and make our life in the town. It’s tough, with house prices etc but it is a beautiful place to live and great to be surrounded by family. It’s this younger generation who can help the town carry on and have a community.
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What is your favourite memory associated with the town?
When the Folk Festival used to encompass ‘The Knowle’. There was such a sense of togetherness as it had such a large main hub. You could guarantee you’d meet up with all your friends there.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Folk Festival is still brilliant and I think that it’s great how it is now located all over town, as this allows so many more people to get involved. Things change and if it benefits the town, I’m in favour of it.
What’s your favourite attraction and why?
Connaught Gardens. As a child I could get lost in all the beauty for ages playing hide and seek with my granddad.
How do you think Sidmouth can improve as a town?
Again, it comes down to community. I think we need to be more tolerant and encompass everyone’s opinions.
After all, we are one big team, whether you live here or holiday here. At the end of the day we all want the same thing, for Sidmouth to be the best it can be.
How did you get where you are now?
Where do I start? One of my favourite childhood memories was sitting in my granddad’s workshop where he was a bespoke tailor. He used to sit me on the cutting board where I played with chalk and watched him work. I was fascinated. I did Art Foundation in Exeter and a degree in design and textiles at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. I never dreamt I would get a chance to use my skills in Sidmouth until, by chance, I was offered the opportunity of purchasing Devon Embroidery.
What advice would you give to anybody considering setting up an independent shop?
Choose something you are passionate about and take the plunge!