Award-winning stationer and Independent champion of National Stationery week, Sarah Laker, has branched out from her successful shop in Marple to open a second branch in Wilmslow.
Sarah, owner of Stationery Supplies and a self-confessed stationery addict, has taken over Stationery Solutions on Chapel Lane after the retirement of David Hall who owned the shop for 11 years.
Sarah explains "I’ve always wanted to expand my passion further afield and have looked at a few options for a second shop over the years, but none ever felt right. However, this time everything feels as though it is meant to be and has just fallen into place. The existing Stationery Solutions shop is a part of the Wilmslow retail experience and I will be immediately looking to expand on that, including rebranding to Stationery Supplies and the iconic Pencil planter in front of the window, creating an immediate and noticeable link between the two shops."
“It might seem crazy expanding to a second shop during a pandemic” Sarah ponders, “but actually, it is perfect timing! People are swinging back to shopping local, they’ve valued their independent shops during lockdown and are voting for the kind of community they want to live in by supporting local business – a movement that is very close to my heart. In addition, so many people are working at home, popping into their local shop for items rather than ordering through the business account, small commuter towns like Marple and Wilmslow are starting to thrive more than some of the larger shopping centres."
True to her beliefs, Sarah will be keeping it in the family and employing her eldest daughter, Molly, who, after learning from her mum’s experience, will eventually go on the manage the new shop.
Sarah left behind a career in nursing 15 years ago to open her Cheshire shop. With no previous experience of retail she followed her instinct and empathy for customers’ requirements to go from strength-to-strength winning the Office Club Retailer of the Year in 2015, being shortlisted for the Best Small Shops award in 2019 and winner of London Stationery Show and Stationery Matters’ Best Northern Independent Retailer in the 2020 Stationery Awards.