Posted On: 3 Jul 2018

Brown Paper Packages are one of the community of great independent retailers that have their shop at The Piece Hall. We interviewed Yvonne, the owner of Brown Paper Packages, to find out more about her business.

How would you describe Brown Paper Packages?

I’ve tried to create a shop with a mixture of small, pretty gifts that can be given as a present for any occasion - from weddings, christenings and birthdays to graduations, new homes and teacher gifts. I also have a small section dedicated to craft materials with ribbons, fabric, buttons and other materials for textile crafters.

My best-selling range is the beautiful porcelain collection from East of India which includes mugs, coasters, dishes and little keepsakes. During the Christmas season, the vintage style glass decorations and fairies by London designer Gisela Graham are my most popular range and she has a new collection launching this year which is exciting. I also sell on behalf of local Halifax crafters with products that include cushions, lampshades, memo boards and hessian items.

Can you tell me a little more about the background of Brown Paper Packages?

Well, I was previously a primary school teacher but decided to go to university and after graduating with a science degree in textiles, I decided to open an online shop about seven to eight years ago. Then once I saw how beautiful The Piece Hall was and heard they were looking for independent businesses, I just thought “I have to make the jump to a physical shop as the location just fits so well with my items.”

I make want to make sure that I offer a high quality service to all of my customers and so offer a free of charge gift wrapping service and I always tie the parcel with a tag with my little strap line - these are a few of my favourite things. Obviously, I’m a huge Sound of Music fan and think this just adds a little bit of my personality into the Brown Paper Packages experience.

What’s next for Brown Paper Packages?

My next challenge is to come up with a ‘display solution’ – essentially a move around to accommodate new season stock. Christmas is our busiest time so I want to make sure it’s done before the season starts but still maintain that eclectic feel to the shop, that so many of my customers love. After this, I’m going to look at having a website built. As my business continues to grow I’m keen to be able to meet demand.

What do you like most about having a shop at The Piece Hall?

My favourite thing about being at The Piece Hall is meeting all the wonderful visitors. I love to chat to them, find out where they have travelled from and what they think to this lovely place. I also like to find out what they’re looking for in a gift and help to choose something for that special occasion.

What’s been your favourite moment since you’ve been open at The Piece Hall?

Without a doubt the visit from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in February. While on a tour of The Piece Hall he stopped, and asked me about my shop. I then introduced him to my daughter, Katie, who was pregnant at the time. He asked how the pregnancy was going while referring to how The Duchess of Cornwall was getting on with hers. He also said hello to my two grandchildren. A truly magical moment and one that my family and I will treasure.  

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The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
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