I am really sorry that it has taken a hot minute to get this review published! I am really nervous about this new part of my blog and I wanted to do Maxime the justice they so clearly deserve! Here goes……..
Walking into Maxime Wools is like walking into Aladdin’s cave! I’m instantly drawn to the yarn displays showcasing a full rainbow spectrum of colours!
Once I managed to stop drooling and regained my composure, I was met by Maxime’s owner, Alison.
Alison has owned Maxime Wools for almost 11 years. Alison retired but soon became restless and wanted a new challenge. Alison knits and loves being social – owning a shop like this is perfect!
The shop was a hive of activity. I met Fiona (Resident Crochet Oracle!) Fiona explained that Saturday mornings are Knit/Crochet Clinics. Everyone is invited to come along, chat, have a cuppa and get any help they need with their current projects. The group of ladies I met were really lovely, showed me what’s on their hooks and spoke every highly of Alison & what she has done with the shop. There is a real sense of friendship and community which was heartwarming to experience. It really showed how crafting can bring people of all walks of life together. I have never been around so many passionate yarn lovers at once! I find crocheting to be very solitary but this highlighted that it can be very sociable. Maxime is a fantastic place to meet new, like-minded people and have a giggle! I was quite taken back when I was asked to come along to their Knit & Natter Evenings (1st and 3rd Tuesday every month – nominal charge to cover the refreshments). I’m a new face but very much felt included in the group.
Alison joined myself and Fiona. Now to ask the nitty gritty!!!
How has Maxime evolved over the years?
Both agreed that the biggest changes are to the range of products offered. Alison said that she has introduced more luxury yarns (lace, hand dyed, sock etc).
What yarns do you currently supply?
Both highlighted the yarns which are currently stocked:
- Debbie Bliss
- Juniper Moon
- Bessie May
- Yarn Stories
- Ella Rae
What price ranges?
Skeins/Hanks start from £2.50 up to £30.00.
Do you supply haberdashery items?
Alison said that she stocks a wide range of other items including; beads, hooks, needles, buttons, ribbons, knitting/crochet patterns, tapestry yarns, embroidery threads and cross stitch supplies.
Do you offer Gift Vouchers?
Yes, Gift Vouchers are available for purchase. Alison tells me that they are very popular.
Do you offer courses?
Fiona told me about a range of courses which they currently offer. These range from Beginners Knitting/Crochet (Left and Right Handed) to Cabling (Fair Isle & Lace etc) and all the way up to Finishing. Please contact Alison (full details below) for course prices and current availability.
Fiona explained about the Saturday morning gatherings as well as the Knit & Natter Evenings.
Do you offer special/mail orders?
Alison said that she is able to make special/mail orders for the suppliers she currently stocks. If in doubt, ask and Alison will do everything she can to help. Fiona mentioned a customer who is not very well. Fiona said that the customer really struggled to get to the shop. Maxime have offered to personally deliver any supplies she needs to help her. This is exactly what I mean about the real sense of community and togetherness.
Do you have a Loyalty Scheme?
Yes! Alison told me that you will receive 1 stamp for each purchase over £10. Once you have collected 10 stamps, you will receive 10% off your next purchase. This is a great offer and rivals all of the bigger retailers! A definite gold star from me!
What makes Maxime unique?
Alison and Fiona both agreed that their sense of community sets them apart from other retailers. I wholeheartedly agree! I have never walked into a shop and felt so included. Alison told me about one of her customers who creates little woolly baby booties. The shop has them pride of place by the till. Alison explained that all money received from the sale of the booties is donated to The Royal Marsden. Alison and many of the group told me that it is a cause which is close of their hearts. To date, over £1,800 has been donated. This is amazing and again a real show of community.
Alison also highlighted that she has had customers ask if items could be made for them. Alison said that a number of garments have been made by their trusty knitters to suit their customers needs. Again, this is another demonstration of going above and beyond the call of duty for a retailer.
Fiona highlighted that Maxime has a Yarn Shop Day (6th May 2017). Fiona said that the window will be dressed, spinning wheels and drop spindles will be on the shop floor. Fiona also highlighted that they take an active part inpromoting Knit in Public Day!
Alison told me that she has arranged for guest speakers to visit the shop and run workshops. Alison told me that over the years she has featured:-
- Vicky Twigg
- Debbie Bliss
- Alison Ellen
- Louisa Harding
Alison highlighted that there are completed garments all over the shop which showcase the patterns, yarns and suppliers. Alison said that some of the displays are provided by the suppliers i.e Stylecraft but a majority are produced by her team of knitting ninjas! Alison said that she likes to use different yarns to show how it would look in say an ombre yarn as opposed to a standard coloured DK.I think that this is fantastic! It shows items which could be made and what they could look it. There is nothing better than being drawn to a beautifully created top and have a good feel of the yarn.
What is your best selling product?
Alison said that the baby yarn is flying off the shelves!
What are your newest items?
Alison told me that she has recently introduced Moon beads and crystals. Alison said that she is also waiting on a delivery of the new Stylecraft Mystique. Alison showed me a picture of the yarn and it look beautiful! Can’t wait to try it out!
Do you have any sales?
Alison said that there is a huge annual 1 day sale. This is usually held on the last Sunday in January. Alison said that the discounts are huge and the whole shop floor is covered! Please check with Maxime every year about the exact date!! Don’t miss out on an awesome opportunity to stock up and save money!
Please visit Maxime Wools website for contact details, address etc.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Maxime and I would like to thank each and every person I met on the day. Thank you for making me feel so welcome and I wish you all the luck in the world for the future.