We love discovering and then showcasing the hidden talents of folk working in Cupar. When Lucy Makein retired from teaching in 2011, she thought about how she could make the very most of all the skills she had learnt and honed during more than three decades in many a classroom. We caught up with Lucy to find out more …
Lucy was born and bred in Cupar. Educated at Castlehill Primary and then Bell Baxter Secondary Schools, she grew up with a love of art. Lucy says: “Ever since childhood, I have always enjoyed sewing and making things.”
Leaving Bell Baxter, she continued her studies – heading across the Tay to the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Dundee. Lucy says: “My love of arts and crafts blossomed. I specialised in drawing and painting, and at heart I am still a painter although I design and make things.”
When Lucy graduated, there was one career – teaching. She adds: “I taught art for thirty four years in Fife – mostly peripatetic covering many schools.” And when the time came to hang up her teaching tools, she started making things to sell at Craft Fairs but because of the gaps between these fairs “opening a shop seemed to be a natural progression. I knew I’d be able to make almost all that I needed to sell and I fancied the challenge.”
WeePrezzies was born in 2013. Seven years on, the shop is now on Crossgate and is true to Lucy’s founding principle: almost every single item in the shop – cards, cushions, embroidered, felt, fabric, paper and card crafts – are all her own designs and are all made by Lucy, with knitted gifts and box cards made by friends.
Lucy says: “I enjoy making things and meeting people, so the idea of a shop suits me down to the ground.” On a personal level, she cites going to art college as her greatest achievement. On a business level? “Definitely opening the shop – with no business training!”
There’s no doubt – as with all small, independent shops – Wee Prezzies has faced challenges, not least of all those created by the Covid-19 lockdown, but Lucy has risen to them all. And right now (July 2020), the shop is re-opening … adhering to all the relevant guidelines to ensure the safety of the shop and its customers. You’ll find information signs, hand santiser as well as directional arrows that walk you through the shop to ensure you don’t miss any of the beautifully-made items on display.
The shop is also moving with the times, embracing digital – with a refreshed Facebook page as well as adopting contactless payment. Lucy says: “When I started teaching, who would have thought that – thirty plus years down the line – I’d be making a living from creating my own designs and gifts and featuring them online?” She adds: “We have worked with CuparNow who have ensured the shop’s Facebook page is performing as it should – and they’ve also shown how the content we are posting is reaching folk not just in and around Cupar, but around the world. In the last month, the video we shared in just part of the content featured that’s been seen by people in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps we’re not so wee afterall!”
And finally …
We always ask folk featured in our Blog profiles what they’d recommend to people visiting Cupar for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. Lucy says: “Cupar is a small rural friendly town, with many lovely walks, parks and historical features … and within walking distance of beautiful countryside. Newcomers should take full advantage of these; make a point of meeting the locals and visit the small, individual businesses and local attractions. In the summer months, the street-side flower displays are beautiful.”
You can visit Wee Prezzies at 54 Crossgate, call them on 07714 499700 – or see more on their Facebook page.
Thanks for reading.