Covid strain sees London Bead Company shut up shop

Family-run business has been in high street for 30 years

Thursday, 2nd September 2021 — By Dan Carrier

Mother and daughter team Faye Niven and Alex Witney

Mother and daughter team Faye Niven and Alex Witney

FROM sprucing up dresses to providing the wool for a newborn’s knitted boots, the London Bead Company and Delicate Stitches shop in Kentish Town Road has inspired thousands of handmade pieces of clothing crafts and decorations.

But this week marks the last time the family-run business will ring up the cost of lengths of lace, pots of buttons and reams of fabric as more than 30 years of trading comes to a close.

Mother and daughter team Faye Niven and Alex Witney say the devastating effect of the pandemic – they still had to pay rent for the shop while it was closed – combined with long-term changes to shopping habits to leave them with little choice.

Alex said: “Things were already quieter and then the pandemic hit. We have had to work five times as hard to barely survive at all.”

The closure is one of a number in Kentish Town and is in a parade that has seen seven other close neighbouring shops go under.

The business originally started on the other side of the world by Faye. When her daughter Alex left Australia and moved to London, she set up a similar shop in Camden Lock – and Faye followed her in 1997 when the family took over the space in Kentish Town.

Alex said: “We have been going ever since. We have made so many friends who started out as customers. It has good memories – it’s lovely to see the creativity of our customers. We’ll miss them all but we have been working here for so long, it was time to say goodbye.”

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