SIGNING OFF: Bargain Box Fabric owners Alan and Margaret Ingham are retiring and closing down their store.
SIGNING OFF: Bargain Box Fabric owners Alan and Margaret Ingham are retiring and closing down their store. David Nielsen

End of an era for fabric of Ipswich business community

Mid June will bring the end of an era at Bargain Box Fabrics.

Owners Margaret and Alan Ingham are calling it a day after serving the community for more than 28 years.

Mrs Ingham said she'd proudly served several generations of the same families.

"I have the children who used to come in with mum, now adults and some bring in their children," she said.

"The parents are coming in because they remember doing this when they were young, often to get items for home economics at school."

Bargain Box Fabrics has built relationships and trust over many years and this has proven to be the key to the success of the business. "We have developed great friendships over the years and that is important to me," Mrs Ingham said.

What the business has prided itself on is the personalised service, a place where you can get advice and support in any area of sewing.

It is in a very handy location, a short walk from central Ipswich with ample off-street parking at the rear. It has been a popular destination for people interested in craft.

The business started 28 years ago in Ipswich but was already an established name in the founding suburb of Acacia Ridge, later expanding to Capalaba and Zillmere.

"We started 34 years ago in Acacia Ridge and what we wanted was to provide a family shop with reasonably priced material and sewing accessories," Mrs Ingham said.

"Ipswich needed a store like this so we decided to open up."

The Inghams are passionate about small business and believe the values that they have upheld over the years will see any small business also achieve great things.

Over the years many things have changed.

"I have seen craft take over from dressmaking," Mrs Ingham said.

"Years ago, dressmakers were very active and it was an economic way of providing new clothes for the family.

"With the advancement of cheap imports it changed everything. Certainly dressmakers do make garments or special occasions but I find today they are definitely those who really know what they are doing.

"Today the popular fabrics are cotton and more natural products, people are certainly more particular about what they buy."

The Inghams are hopeful that a new owner will be able to take over the building.

"I know that the perspective new owner is seeking finance to be approved. If it is successful it will be a new name but similar business. We are committed to helping the new owner."

If a legacy is to be left, then the Ingham's have a deep resolve that this type of business is still needed in the city.

"This place is easy to access and is familiar to many in the community," Mrs Ingham said.

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