The Newfoundland Weavery, selling local crafts since 1972
Posted on September 03, 2021 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
The Newfoundland Weavery was established in 1972 by Gail Griffiths on Duckworth Street, St. John’s, N.L. The store started as a traditional weaving business; Gail sold yarn, her own creations and taught weaving classes. After a fire in 1989, Gail moved the store to Water Street, where it has remained ever since.
Once Gail started getting requests from local crafters to sell their products in-store, she discovered that it was the business of selling that she enjoyed most. So, yarn sales and weaving classes were phased out and Newfoundland Weavery became a craft store, selling high-end, locally-made pottery, jewelry, art prints and more.
Over the years, the product line-up expanded even further. Christmas and home decor became a big market, and men’s, women’s and baby clothing were added to the store, along with other specialty items. But, local crafts remain their niche.
About 40 years into the business, Griffiths began looking for someone to take over. In 2012, she approached Kim Paddon, owner of her own local retail shop and an acquaintance she knew from buying trips and trade shows. It was a great fit, but, for Kim it just wasn’t the right time.
Flash forward six years later, Kim had a meeting with Gail about selling her new jewelry line at Newfoundland Weavery. When Griffiths mentioned that 2018 would likely be the store’s last Christmas season, Kim decided she wanted in. Paddon officially purchased Newfoundland Weavery in 2019 to maintain the store’s legacy.
Kim’s first order of business was establishing Newfoundland Weavery’s digital presence. She built a website, social media presence and digitized receipts. This made it easier to tell their story and for people to find them. Online sales became a new revenue stream, but retail sales remain strong, especially during tourist season.
When asked about Newfoundland Weavery’s in-store experience, Kim noted that they keep things traditional and let the products speak for themselves. Their distinctive merchandise sets the store apart. Plus, Kim is always innovating. In the summer of 2020, she created a fresh flower bar to capitalize on foot traffic from the downtown pedestrian mall.
For Kim, customer service is also paramount: “Customer service is our number one, we always go above and beyond for our customers.” She noted that many employees have worked at Newfoundland Weavery for over 20 years and are familiar with their customer base. The store does custom orders and will try to source a new product upon request.
Almost 50 Years in Business
Today, Newfoundland Weavery has been in business for nearly 50 years. Reflecting on its success, Kim commented: “the biggest success for me is hearing people talk about our store, hearing about customers’ experiences in-store and seeing it on social media.”
Thinking about the future, Kim noted that she’s “always coming up with lots of different ideas”, and said the next thing on her list is creating Newfoundland Weavery’s own line of products. •
Comments are moderated to ensure thoughtful and respectful conversations. First and last names will appear with each submission; anonymous comments and pseudonyms will not be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that Atlantic Business Magazine has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. Publication of a comment does not constitute endorsement of that comment. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.