ABOUT THE WOOL SHED
We are an independent, family-run shop based at Charlecote, near Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare. Our shop is within the grounds of Charlecote Garden Store, directly across the road from Charlecote Park, a wonderful, historic National Trust estate. In fact, the Garden Store is sited on what used to be the kitchen gardens for the manor house, and alongside our shop you can still see remnants of the old greenhouses from the Downton Abbey era!
We first dipped a toe into the waters of on-line retailing in 2012 when we began stocking and selling Neal's Yard Organic cosmetics. We quickly found a niche in the top end of the cosmetics market and soon began offering a range of high quality products across the cosmetics and homewares sectors.
In early 2015 we branched out further, converting the spare bedroom into a warehouse and stocking luxury wool blankets and throws and scarves by Bronte from Yorkshire and Tweedmill from Wales. This was such a success that we started looking for our first shop. On-line retailing is a lot of fun, but both our backgrounds are in face-to-face customer service (Allen is a former music shop manager and Lesley worked for Lloyds Bank for over a decade). In early 2017 we called in to our favourite garden centre at Charlecote to buy some plants and we found a beautiful, airy retail unit for rent, which we signed up for on the spot and opened the doors to the public in September 2017. And now we have got our spare bedroom back, which we are very pleased about.
After an initial success and a very busy Christmas we decided to expand our range beyond wool throws and scarves, and we became a stockist for Jellycat, the UK's most loved brand of collectable cuddly toys. Within a few months we had become one of Warwickshire's leading Jellycat stockists, and we now stock a range of these wonderfully soft creations to rival any supplier in the country.
Jellycat was quickly followed by Peony Scarves, Scottish Fine Soaps and MadeByZen aroma diffusers. And then came greetings cards! Our artist friend Rachel Bird lives less than a mile from The Wool Shed and we decided to stock her hand-made greetings cards featuring floral displays and local landscapes. These were such a success that we branched out further by stocking cards by the brilliant Warwick-based artist / illustrator Lucy Bergonzi and the wonderfully quirky Rosie Made a Thing.
The greetings cards were such a hit with our customers that we went along to the Spring Fair at the National Exhibition Centre in February 2019 with the express purpose of approaching legendary artist and card-maker Simon Drew, in the hope that we might become a stockist of his fabulous, quirky, groan-inducing cards and prints. We met Simon and Christine, and were amazed to find there was nobody in Stratford-upon-Avon selling their wares. And so we are now Stratford's sole stockist of these amazing gift items, which have proved a huge success.
And so the story continues: eighteen months after opening our doors with a range of wool blankets we are quickly becoming the first choice for gifts, homewares and cards in the Stratford and Warwick area. Thank you for visiting our site, we hope to see you in the shop some time soon!