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Stationery not Stationary

Elite Stationers in Stony Street at the heart of Frome has changed hands, and Rachel Yoxall-James, supported by her husband Garry, has great plans for this traditional stationery shop. 

Rachel  said, “It’s difficult for traditional stores to survive in the age of on-line shopping. The previous owners were keen to keep the shop in the stationery business and they loved our plans.

“We are fully refitting the shop and introducing ‘posh stationery’ and a comprehensive range of crafts, building on what had been started. The shop will also have a new name ‘Postscript’ which we chose after much thought and argument!”

Rachel currently runs Paulton Swimming Pool, again with the support of Garry who is chair of the management committee, and together they have turned a failing business around in the past three years to the point where it may actually be the only profitable community pool in the country.

Garry, who has been a retail consultant for the past two years since leaving Shell and a 23-year fuels retailing career said, “I do have a lot of experience, but am enjoying being an ‘independent retailer’. Selling petrol, which no one wants to buy, is a real contrast to developing Postscript.

“The whole community on Catherine Hill has been fantastic and we are enjoying getting to know the loyal customers who have supported the shop in the past years.

“In updating the offer we are trying to respect its tradition and its place within Frome. We hope we will get the balance right. We will continue to offer photocopying and our business services and to deliver it with outstanding customer service.”

Rachel, a ceramic artist in her own right, will be offering a wide range of workshops in the newly redecorated premises, from kids craft clubs to adult art classes, and the range will develop in the coming months.

Rachel said, “We are really excited at giving crafters somewhere exciting to go, regardless of age and ability. We will give mums (and dads!) the opportunity on a Saturday to leave the kids (over eight) doing a supported craft session in our shop while they enjoy the delights of Catherine Hill or the fantastic cuisine and coffee next door in the Garden Café.”

Rachel and Garry will be opening the new store every Sunday Market too. Rachel said, “We opened for the first time earlier this month just to get a feel for it and had a great day.

“The town should be very proud of how unique and inspiring it is, and in particular for the range of independent shops who are so well supported. Frome Independent have done an amazing job with the Sunday Market and really made us welcome. We look forward to the many years ahead that we plan to be here!”