From dreams to reality as friends set up quirky shop in Lancaster

Jess Tubman from Penny St Collectables and Kate Makin from Northern Yarn have opened a shop on Penny Street
Jess Tubman from Penny St Collectables and Kate Makin from Northern Yarn have opened a shop on Penny Street

Two friends are launching a new business venture in Lancaster city centre this weekend.

Northern Yarn and Penny Street Collectables opens on Saturday September 2 – and a Channel 4 camera crew will be there to film as part of a forthcoming TV series.

Kate Makin.

Kate Makin.

The new shop is the brainchild of friends Kate Makin and Jess Tubman.

Kate runs Northern Yarn, a local yarn business that produces and sells its own range of wool – Poll Dorset/Bluefaced Leicester ‘Northern Yarn’ – as well as many other well-known, local and British wool brands, including Lancashire Farm Wool, New Lanark and West Yorkshire Spinners.

Kate has a stall on Lancaster market and also runs a knitting group at the Gregson Centre on Monday evenings.

She will sell her wool and accessories in the shop, while Jess will bring her expertise in antiques and collectables, selling a mixture of old and new pottery and glass and small pieces of furniture as well as silver jewellery. Popular names on offer will include Emma Bridegwater, Susie Watson, Royal Dalton and Medina glass.

Jess Tubman.

Jess Tubman.

Jess’s love of antiques and collectables started when she was 14 and worked in her mum’s antiques shop.

Now she scouts local venues looking for the next treasure.

“I’m an avid fan of flea markets, car boot sales, antique fairs and auctions,” she said.

“I can be found at one of these every weekend searching from something exciting.

“I look for good quality, excellent design, or something a little bit quirky.

“The shop will be an exciting, eclectic mix of gorgeous unusual things, new and old.”

The pair, who forged a friendship through their children attending Quernmore Primary School, decided to make their dream of opening a shop a reality by going into business together.

Jess said: “I have always bought antiques and collectibles online and Kate has sold wool online and we always talked about opening a shop but it was only a dream really.”

However, a chance conversation with another antiques dealer led to the women discovering the shop at 74 Penny Street was available – and the rest is history.

“It has all happened very quickly,” Jess said. “We have only known each other for two or three years but we had a similar vision.

“There’s a lot of empty shops in Lancaster at the moment which isn’t good to see, so hopefully this will work out for us.”

The grand opening is on Saturday from 10am-4pm, with drinks, discounts and products for sale.