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Indie Of The Month: Swift Stitch in Haydon Place

Published on: 6 May, 2019
Updated on: 7 May, 2019

By Hugh Coakley

I must have walked past Swift Stitch, the clothing repairs and alterations specialist, a hundred times and not noticed it.

But it is worth a second look.

Swift Stitch, the clothing repairs and alterations specialists, in Haydon Place. The premises on the left are where it expanded into in 2014 and where all the alterations are undertaken.

It has been there 10 years and is so busy that it employs eight full-time and four part-time people. It is owned and run by brothers, Ben and Riz Araf.

Riz is 40 years old and has been a tailor for 23 years. His older brother, Ben, has been tailoring for the last 18 years. Riz was proud to say: “I taught him his tailoring skills.”

Bengin and Rizgar Araf (Ben and Riz), owners of the Swift Stitch shop in Haydon Place.

It is a lovely shop with a very traditional feel. I was there on bank holiday Monday (May 6) and it was busy with customers coming in for alterations and dry cleaning. There was also a rack of clothes from House of Fraser awaiting their tailoring magic.

Riz said: “We have our direct customers and we have contracts with high street stores such as House of Fraser and Debenhams as well.”

Tia, who works in the front shop said: “Lots of customers look through their wardrobe and want to save some money, so they come to us. We get all types of clothes for altering, vintage clothes or out of fashion as well and we update them or alter them to size.

“We are open seven days a week including bank holidays. Our busiest days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They are super busy days.”

Riz Araf working in the extension to the shop where the alterations are carried out on site.

The alterations are all carried out on site in the shop next door where they expanded five years ago. It looks to be a pleasant working area and, although it wasn’t that busy on the holiday Monday, they still had staff in to cope with the workload.

One customer anxiously asked for an alteration to a blouse within the hour and was very relieved when Riz confirmed it could be done.

The customer told The Guildford Dragon NEWS: “They are very nice people here. You get good service and good work.”

Not bad service for a bank holiday.

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