Ami 'sew' glad she chose market route to make her dreams a reality

Ami James - Simply Needlecraft Ami James - Simply Needlecraft

Running a market stall might not be the first thought of someone starting their own business, but a mother of one has shown that the proof of success is in the pudding.

Ami James, 36, opened Simply Needlecraft, a business that sold everything from buttons to balls of wool, as a trader on the regular weekly markets in Swadlincote town centre in October 2013.

Ami soon realised that there was a bigger calling for her work and was offered her first shop in February 2014 on The Delph in the town’s West Street.

She said:

“Free market pitches are a great way to get a feel for what customers want without having the added pressures of signing a lease to a tenancy.

“After attending a sewing class six years ago with my mum on an off chance, I quickly realised I didn’t only have the knack for it – I wanted to do this for a living.#

“I always wanted to teach people how to quilt, sew, embroider etcetera but never had the space to do so – I now teach children and adults in my workshop upstairs and have two fantastic students going to a quilting festival competition at the NEC.

“I would highly recommend anyone wanting to start up their own business to take this route.”

In January 2017 Ami moved to a larger store at the bottom of Swadlincote’s High Street, where she was able to expand her workshop and has more space to sell equipment.

Mike Roylance, economic development manager at South Derbyshire District Council, said:

“Swadlincote’s markets have proven to be a massive success over the years, ranging from weekly markets to the annual Love Your Local Market event.

“Love your Local Market is taking place up to Wednesday, May 31, with a great variety of local products for you to browse through, so it’s a great chance to come and take a look at what Swadlincote has to offer.”

Love Your Local Market started in 2012 amid fears around the sustainability of the nation’s high streets and, to date, participants have staged more than 11,000 events.

More information is available on the Swadlincote Markets Facebook page or via @SwadMarkets on Twitter, with anyone interested in hosting a stall urged to contact Market Manager Simon Wardle tel: 07879 276243 or email:

Businesses and members of the public are urged to get involved by sharing their pictures, stories and videos on social media by using the hashtag #LYLM2017 and tagging in Swadlincote Markets.

Visit Ami from Saturday 27 May to Monday 29 May 2017 as part of Derbyshire Open Arts at 64-66 High Street, Swadlincote from 10am to 5pm. Visit Derbyshire Open Arts for more information.

25 May 2017