A day in the Life – Retail and Income Generation Officer

It has been a little while since we gave you a look behind the scenes at what our staff get up to on a daily basis so we thought it might be nice to give you a peak at what Andrea, our Retail and Income Generation officer has been getting up to.  Andrea has been working closely with one of the Museum Assistants, Kathy, on an exciting project the two are planning with the museum volunteers.

‘After the mill closed down in the 80’s there was some fabric left over that was stored in the building and was given to the museum to use when it opened. One of our volunteers helpfully continued to demonstrate one of the looms when the museum opened to the public and he produced lots of samples of woollen fabric in plenty of different patterns and colours. Last year we began a project with some of the volunteers weaving up samples of cloth on the rigid heddle loom that were inspired by some of the beautiful cloth swatches from our collection. This has left us with with a slight dilemma- we have lots of interesting, beautiful small bits of fabric, but what to do with it all?

image of fabric being cut of a cutting mat
Kathy cutting some of the woollen fabric down to size to make little bags

We have a small range of products in the shop made by one of our volunteers, Pat, for sale already, as well as some badges covered in fabric from the mill but we really wanted to expand on this range and get our fabulous volunteers as involved as possible. Kathy, one of our Museum Assistants and I sat down and came up with some ideas and, after some pattern testing by Kathy, we decided to come up with some kits for volunteers to take home and sew up in to bags. We locked ourselves in the library, spread out the fabric all over the conference table and got to work making up kits.

We had scraps of cotton fabric to make the lining for the bags and needed to mix and match and find out what zips went with what bag and make sure we had the right colour threads to make the bags. With lots of different coloured fabrics and lots of different size pieces you can really get creative with these bags! We bagged up the kits ready for volunteers to take home and start sewing then stopped for some tea and lunch.

picture showing various bags made from woollen fabric
A few examples of bags Kathy sewed up to show what can be done
photo showing the contents of the bag making kits
Bag making kits ready to go!


Once we had some bag kits cut and colour matched we had to share our plans with the volunteers. Kathy, who writes up our regular volunteers newsletter, got started on an article for the newsletter and we made up a poster to pop in the shop for the volunteers to read when they came in.

image of poster explaining the project to volunteer

Nothing more now to do until some bags get made so it was out to the shop for me. We like to make sure that we are always keeping up with events so with Valentines day on its way I decided it would be a good time to put together a display showing off all the lovely things you can buy in our museum shop, Bumble Dust, that would make a perfect gift. We have a lovely selection of plush toys, luxury blankets, chocolates and some truly scrumptious chocolates all for sale in Bumble Dust. Have a look at our Instagram page ( @BumbleDustShop ) if you would like to see our Valentines display.


image of Andrea a lady in a pink jumper looking at stock in a cupboard
Lots of restocking to be done!

With the Valentines display looking good it was time to do some restocking in the shop. After a busy week there was lots of restocking to do especially when it comes to our own branded stationary. With the restocking done there was just enough time to do a spot of tiding up before cashing up and finishing for the day.

day in the life of a retail and income generation officer
museum site logo 2
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