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Focus on...Hems Sew Soon

A tailor whose career has taken him from trucks to trousers is looking to expand a little, 10 years after launching his own business.

Dave Pacey only opened his second shop in Hull city centre a few months ago and is now looking for a third site. Yet he admits it was very much a case of tightening his belt when he set up Hems Sew Soon with wife Helen in 2006.

Dave said: “We owed a lot of money on the credit card and we had an overdraft at the bank but the business went so well that we’ve been able to buy our own house and open our second shop.”

The first shop in Holderness Road thrived so the couple brought in Dave’s son David as manager, enabling them to open a branch in Carr Lane, Hull.

They’re looking at properties to the west of the city for their next move, and they’re aware that things could have been very different. Dave, who hated PE, went into dancing when he first left school.

He said: “I was the first YTS dance instructor in Hull, but when I got to 17 I decided I needed a proper job so I went into sewing!”

Dave learned how to sew when he joined the staff of a haulage company in Hull and worked on the tarpaulins for lorries. When he left there it was to join another motor trade business, working on upholstery for a company which restored vintage cars.

He moved into mainstream tailoring when he got a job shortening trousers at Len Beck, and then he moved to Superstitch, starting as a machinist and progressing to look after 10 stores as area manager. Meanwhile Helen was working as an assistant manager in a convenience store and the couple decided to back themselves.

Dave said: “By this time there was nothing I couldn’t sew and we both had management experience so we chucked our jobs and set up on our own. Things were tight – on day one we needed our first customer so we could buy our breakfast but we’ve gone from strength to strength since then.” 

Kathryn Shillito, HullBID city centre manager, said: “Dave and Helen have got a great story which demonstrates how hard independent businesses have to work to become established. It’s clear they had to stretch themselves to open their first shop but the second is indicative that their expertise and patience paid off.”

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Business highlight

Focus on...Hems Sew Soon

A tailor whose career has taken him from trucks to trousers is looking to expand a little, 10 years after launching his own business. The first shop in Holderness Road thrived so he has now opened a second branch on Carr Lane.

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