Whether it be from altering that life changing white gown or simply discussing sewing essentials with customers, there are plenty of memories for Gunnedah Fashion Fabrics owner Kathie Spence.

But as the market changes, Kathie has made the difficult decision to close the Conadilly storefront on Saturday, March 23.

Neville and Robyn O’Gorman first opened the store about 50 years ago.

It was 18 years ago when Kathie bought the business from the previous owners which effectively stopped its closure.

“I decided I wanted a bit of a career change. I had worked in the store for about four years and the people who had it were going to close,” Kathie said.

“I didn’t want the shop to close because I was a sewer.”

Now in the age of online shopping and fabric megastores, circumstances have chosen for her to close the small Gunnedah outlet as outgoing expenses no longer make it possible to continue operating.

“It is just not a viable business anymore,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the average sewer is probably aged about 60-plus these days.

“There are not a lot of young people sewing and if they are, they tend to like to buy their stuff online and have it delivered to home.

“That is just how it is though.

“I would still like to work from home and do the alterations along with continuing to sell the stock I have left.

“I think that is going to be a big part of what is going to be missed, is finding someone [for alterations].”

Chances are Kathie will be seen with a pop-up shop in the future or doing something to continue her love for sewing.

When asked what were some of the highlights of her time running the business, it was easy to answer.

“I actually love coming to work. Not everyone can say [that] and I have worked five-and-a-half days a week during that time,” she said.

“We have had lots of great customers over the years. I made lots of really good friendships as well.

“I will miss that part of it, definitely, the contact with people.

“Being in the main street has been great because you do get a lot of passing trade and people wandering in from other towns.”

People have taken advantage of the closing down sale but rest assured there is still plenty more for purchase.

The first thing for Kathie to tick off after trading will be spending time with her mother in Barraba and in the future, there might be some travel.

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