I cannot imagine a better way to sum up my vision; from putting a smile on the faces of returning customers visiting us at the shows we do by welcoming them with a big hug to seeing the surprised look on the faces of new customers when they try on their first Layercake and realise that they have found the easiest way to transform their wardrobes as well as the way they see themselves when they look in the mirror.
Layercakes make you look different and make you feel yourself. They connect you to your life-force, to your true core, more than any other garment you have ever owned. They are strong, versatile, hard-wearing, beautiful and multi-functional. Hmm, did I just sum up Layercake qualities or those of its wearers? Is that why Layercake makes you feel good? It feels like it's part of you; how can just one easy, elegant swathe of fabric feel like such a transformation? All you can do is try for yourself.
Layercake started its life as a couple of Aprons I (Linda) made for myself to wear at the shows where I sold my dyeing and knitting kits. My aspiration at the time (10 years ago next year!) was to build Tall Yarns into a "purveyor of luxury yarns and knitting tools"
I still love the way that sounds...it harks back to a time that life was slower. I wouldn't want time to turn back, I just love that we now have the choice as to when we want to live fast and when we want to slow down. Hand-knitting is a great example of that; a scintillating bite of ZEN, a small calm or calming oasis in the daily bustle that is early 21st century living in our fast-changing world.
Customers kept asking where I bought my Apron dresses. Eventually I made 6 of them and displayed them on my stand at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. And the rest, as they say, is history. It was clear from the start that there were not going to be enough hours in the day to keep making them fast enough. Helen, the lady with whom I co-authored the book "Dye One, Knit One" and the inspiration behind Tall Yarns, helped me to find Andrea, a highly experienced cutter who still makes a lot of the Layercake garments now, in my own village! This enabled me to extend my love for "slow" to the way we still approach Layercake today. New garment designs are added as a result of customers commenting on my outfits and their feedback on existing designs. Layercake garments are made of high quality fabrics and constructed in a way that is aimed to last for years of good service. Andrea shares my belief in craftsmanship, experience, tradition and the immeasurable value of a well-trained eye when it comes to styling in colours and shapes. Layercake garments aim to make the wearer feel good, about who you are, what you do and how you look. When you feel good, you look good. You radiate it and the people around you pick up on this. Layercake pieces are functional and stylish, practical and sophisticated, timeless and edgy.
They aim to blend with the rest of your wardrobe rather than clash with it and, unlike so many other garment brands, they last. I encourage our customers to repair their Layercake garments when they get damaged, adding to their appeal and their individuality. Rather than selling you a new dress, I'll first explore the option of giving the one you have a new lease of life. That doesn't sit well in the garment retail industry. Which is one of the reasons we are still the only place where you can buy Layercake. And why we keep adding interesting and unusual products to complement the collection. Like embroidery yarns and needles to encourage you to individualise your Layercake garments (and/or repair them if necessary!).
Since January 2014, Tall Yarns operates from a multi-functional work-space in the village I've called home for the past 15 years, Grayshott. This means that customers don't exclusively have to rely on the shows we attend when they want to create their next Layercake outfit or want to choose some yarns and a pattern to accessorise their outfit.
It also allowed me to offer Andrea a dedicated Studio, which in turn gave us the option of offering a bespoke service: Andrea will amend the measurements of our standard sized Layercakes and will make you one to order, keeping your measurements on file so they can be replicated for future orders.
Grayshott is a small village, so the main focus remains with online and show sales, but it's lovely to have the opportunity to connect face to face with our most enthusiastic clients. We find that welcoming visitors by appointment is the best way for us to combine a working studio with shows and our online presence.
We continue to develop our selection of knitting patterns for our yarn brands Soliloquy and Trinity Twist to perfectly complement Layercake. We also still sell HiyaHiya needles and other kniting tools AND there is a fabulous shop called "Pins and Needles" in Grayshott that sells a broader selection of yarn brands and needles. So knitters have a fabulous selection to choose from. Layercake increasingly takes centre stage though with a growing following of non-knitters. Which makes a lot of sense. After all, Layercake aims to make every-body-happy and so both the Layercake range and its customer base continue to grow.
So when you find yourself planning a trip that takes you in the vicinity of Grayshott, give me a call on: 01428 288010 and come visit us!
Address: Crossways Road (across from the free car park!), Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6HG