The Whitby Yard is a clothing retailer, located on Church Street in Whitby and was inspired by its owner and creator, Jacquie, after a holiday in New England.
Lindsey Ebbs speaks with Jacquie from Whitby Yard about her local clothing brand.
The online website launched in 2019 and then the walk-in shop on Church Street opened in 2021. Their trademark clothing is relaxed, ethical and captures Whitby at its best. If you are looking to take a bit of Whitby home with you or thinking of buying gifts for friends and family, then look no further than this amazing shop. It has everything you need to be stylish and yet comfortable.
Jacquie has let us scratch under the surface into how this business was created from concept to an online business and then to an actual walk-in shop, all whilst also trying to negotiate a pandemic.
What made you think of creating such an interesting business?
My husband and I visited New England in August 2018 and after visiting Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, Boston, Maine. I absolutely loved the colours and simple designs on the clothes, this was definitely my inspiration.
We married in 2019 on the Isles of Scilly, there was a shop on one of the islands, which sold Isle of Scilly t-shirts, hoodies etc. I said to John, my husband, “This is what Whitby needs”.
I also wanted to sell clothes that were organic, sustainable so I looked for organic cotton and found suppliers who I could collaborate with who had similar ethics to mine.
After my redundancy in 2019. I decided this was the right time to start my own business, this was the push I needed!
Have you always been part of the clothing trade?
No, never! I have been a buyer for over 20 years in Contracting. I’ve always been interested in clothes and design. I have a diploma in Interior Design but haven’t put it to good use until now.
How long has the business been established?
The business was created online in November 2019, I introduced it to Whitby at the Christmas market in 2019, just before Covid.
How many people are part of Whitby Yard?
Vienna is a second-year fashion student who is doing her placement with me in February 2022 and I would eventually like to collaborate with her in creating a new range, which is really exciting. I have also taken on a couple of ladies as weekend staff, who are part of the Whitby Wild Swimmers.
The shop in Whitby is a recent acquisition, how did that come about?
I worked in Portside (clothing shop) for a few months in the Summer and in December of 2020. I really enjoyed being in the shop environment. The owner, James was very encouraging once I had made the decision to open a shop of my own brand. One became available on Church Street in April of 2021 and that’s when I moved in, renovated the interior and opened to the public in July.
Which product in your product range is in the most demand?
Since having the shop in Whitby, the whale tail design is the most popular in the t-shirt and hoodies range, it’s a simple design that seems to resonate with all ages.
Will you add to the range soon?
Yes, I’m bringing out our beach towels, presently collaborating with Lazy Jacks and the sailing brand, Musto for some interesting additions to our range. Keep looking on our website as changes are happening all the time!
Did the pandemic change your business direction and how?
The online shop was already open, but traffic to my website was slow and orders were sporadic. I wasn’t able to do any of the markets to promote my brand due to the pandemic but I managed one in August 2020 ’Made in Yorkshire’ and the range was really well received by customers but I soon realised in December 2020 that I needed a walk-in shop in Whitby.
Is there anything you would have done differently looking back?
I wish I had the confidence and self-belief to do this years ago but if I hadn’t have gone to New England and been made redundant this probably would never have materialised. Family and friends have been so supportive, which has helped me move forward with my decision making.
Do you have any future plans for the business?
Yes, we plan to expand the brand and maybe another shop, but I’m not sure where yet. I love what I’ve created and hope my customers do too?
Thanks again to Lindsey Ebbs of Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry for this exclusive interview, giving us a wonderful insight into this growing local business.