Bute Fabrics’ Atelier shop hopes to becomes community hub

The interior of the Atelier store on Princes Street in Rothesay.
The interior of the Atelier store on Princes Street in Rothesay.

Bute Fabrics’ new retail venture in Rothesay is preparing for a busy summer of workshops, and wants the people of Bute to set up their own events at the store too.

The Atelier shop on Princes Street opened in April selling Bute Fabrics accessories as well as a curated range of indoor products.

Wendy Murray, Bute Fabrics’ communications and business development manager, told the Buteman: “Opening the shop was an idea that came about after an open event we held at the mill last summer.

“We had about 400 people come along and see what sort of thing we did at the mill, and loads of people would ask us where they could buy the materials and products we were offering, but at that time we didn’t have a retail side to it and we were purely selling to businesses.

“We then got it all in place in time to open in April this year, and since the opening it has been going well here.

“At the opening event on April 12 we had queues out the door and throughout April we had good numbers.

“It was a bit quieter in May which is to be expected to an extent, and June has started off strong.

“It’s open now from 11am to 4pm Wednesday to Saturday, but if someone comes along and likes the look of something there is a phone number on the door they can ring, and one of us will be down to open the shop for them.”

Wendy is also keen for Bute’s community groups to take advantage of the shop, either by taking part in the many workshops to take place there this summer or by coming up with their own events.

She said: “The retail side of it is great and we’re delighted to have a successful shop going now but we also want to promote this place as a community space.

“We want people to feel like they can come here for all sorts of reasons and find their own uses for it, not just creative but anything community-oriented.

“It’s also about providing access to opportunities in learning that wouldn’t otherwise be possible on the island, for adults and children.

“An example is the local artist Ruth Slater, who will be borrowing the shop for free and running some of her own classes in here soon.”

The Bute Fabrics mill on Barone Road will be open for another summer event on August 12 this year, with the public welcome and the provision of tours.

Details of upcoming workshops at the Atelier can be found instore or on the shop’s Facebook page.