At the top of Threadneedle Street there’s a pet and country craft shop run by Alvis Bowker-Praed, ably assisted by Delphi the Welsh Border Collie. I asked Alvis what led her to open her shop.
Alvis: My background is in sheep farming, first in Wiltshire and later in France. The time came when I was no longer able to do the manual work that I loved. I knew I didn’t want to work for anyone else, so I decided to open a shop, but even as I talked to the agent about the Threadneedle Street premises I still hadn’t decided what shop to open. I had thought about a spinning business but I had to be realistic about how much interest that would generate. Long ago I’d had a pet shop, but there were already two of those in town. Then I found out that the Nelson Street pet shop was about to close due to retirement, so suddenly the time was right. I feel that when an opportunity like that lands in your lap you have to just go for it! For me, my love of animals and sheep farming, the production of wool and crafts all go together so I felt that the pet and craft shop would be perfect for me. I’m now into my 8th year of trading. I do spinning lessons by arrangement – just pop in and ask for details. I have new and reconditioned spinning wheels for sale. Ashford (the world’s leading manufacturer of spinning wheels) allows me to stock and supply spare parts, and I sell local raw fleeces when available – depending on the season. I also stock a range of yarns, craft accessories, hand-knitted garments and socks made from mohair from Angora goats. My knitting yarns are mostly British and pure wool. I’m passionate about British wool and supporting the British sheep farming industry.
The larger part of the shop is given over to pet supplies. Here you can buy everything you need for looking after your pets and indeed the garden visitors too.
Alvis: I’m keen to stock healthy, nutritious meals and treats. I have a wide selection of grain-free or raw foods and all-natural foods with no artificial additives. I have a range of eco-friendly products including toys made from recycled materials, biodegradable poo bags, and lots of different products that I sell by the scoop. To cut down on packaging, customers are welcome to bring in their own containers which I will re-fill for them so there is no packaging waste. In fact I say to customers if you are ever in need of large boxes or strong, water-resistant sacks please just ask! I’d rather recycle them than throw them away.
Cornhill Pets & Country Crafts
Threadneedle Street, Stroud GL5 1AF.
Tel: 01453 757322