Sally Kettle has high hopes for her new venture Snoods Galore!, which opened for business on Union Street, Ryde, last Tuesday, with a special "opening day open day".
The open day was a great success. Prospective customers were invited to sample the unique wares on offer at Snoods Galore! There were snoods to try and exhibitions to enjoy. Emily Pratcaller and Vickie Lamprey wore a succession of different snoods as they worked on their 1955 Ferguson TEF tractor restoration project in the marquee supplied by Alderson Air Products of Calbourne.
Sally is the entrepreneur who memorably tried and failed to service the island's younger generation, with her ill-fated Brading fashion boutique "In The Hood".
"In the Hood" closed after 4 barren months without a single customer. Local commentators said its demise was caused by its location - Ye King's Towne of Brading has become a heritage tourist centre village and has lost most of its former retail businesses. But Sally Kettle had other ideas.
'It's a fact we all have to face these days - The Isle of Wight is losing its young people to the mainland. An ageing population means a shift in the market demographic. I fought for years through various ventures to give the younger people of Ventnor, Brading and Bembridge a reason to stay and shop on the island. Yet still they went, and my shops closed down.'
Sally is confident that her latest venture in Ryde - in the Union Street premises formerly housing the town's condemned cell and pig-slaughtering yard - will benefit from her demographic foresight.
'So many of our residents remember the war, and the fashions of those days. What better way to bring happiness to their lives than to help them relive their youth? And the snood is well overdue a comeback. Only the other day, old Mrs Fassbender-Wakenshaw from Bending Downe told me how she can't forget the tall German boy who changed her life in a hay-rick one August morning. I feel sure that a snood is just the item to help people like old Mrs Fassbender-Wakenshaw.'
Though Sally Kettle does not immediately intend to sell her own crocheted snoods at Snoods Galore! - she simply has not time at the moment to make the snoods and run Snoods Galore! - she hopes in time to be able to employ someone else to help in the shop, so that she can be freed to make more snoods of her own to stock the groaning snood-shelves.
'For now, I am outsourcing snoods from a bewildering variety of snood-makers', Sally told us. 'I have standard pattern, fancy pattern, beaded, crocheted, lined and chenille, bun covers, - all in a range of materials and combinations of colours and designs.
'I'm especially excited to be able to offer the multiple colour beaded snoods made by Mrs Quandary of Saskatchewan. She is the Empress of the beaded snood world. I'm very excited.'
We wish Sally Kettle - originally from Kettlewell - well with Snoods Galore!