No two jobs the same for sailmakers Tim and Amanda at Stitch It And Fix It

A couple who share a niche skill stitching heavy fabrics such as yacht sails have the wind behind them as their business continues to grow, serving customers across Scotland from their base in Forres.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the town, Tim and Amanda Phipps run Stitch It and Fix It, making and repairing yacht sails, boat covers and anything else that uses thick fabric.

And what started as a part-time venture has rapidly expanded and they’re both working full-time and have a waiting list.

Gap in the market

Stitch It and Fix It are in a unique position in Moray, being the only business of its kind, in an area where the ‘nearby’ Moray Firth coast stretches for nearly 200 miles.

Tim said: “We both can sew using industrial sewing machines and found that there was no-one in Moray offering repair and manufacturing service for yacht sails and covers, using heavy duty textiles and fabrics.

The couple started in 2010 from their home in Portknockie and moved to the Waterford Industrial Estate in Forres in 2012.

Stitching sails requires a large workspace and to gain a picture of their operation, their warehouse has a raised floor which acts as a giant desktop.

They actually climb DOWN into their seats to do their work.

No two jobs the same

Tim says they need this flat working area to unravel some of the huge sails they get in for repair, and indeed make from scratch.

“We have made covers for steam traction engines and worked on the sails for a 52-foot yacht. 

Tim explained that no two jobs are the same, and each day is different. He said the reason customers face a wait to get their customised items is because there is no-one else offering the same service for 100s of miles.

“We know of other companies that offer similar services to us, but we don’t have a direct competitor.

“Every repair or manufactured item is different and our customers are people who want to cover, protect their property and belongings from all types of weather and the climates we experience in this country.

“We offer repair and manufacturing services using industrial sewing machines and using Marine, Outdoor, Commercial and Industrial Fabrics and Textiles.

Using offcuts from old sails, they also make small gift items, and they take these to the Portsoy traditional Boat Festival and the Southampton Boat Show, and you can see these on their Facebook page.

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