Founded in 1993, Buttons & Bows is a haberdashery based in the heart of Penzance, Cornwall, specialising in sewing supplies, fabrics and knitting supplies.
Please note we will be adding more products to our online store over the coming weeks and months, but for our full range please do visit us at our brick and mortar store at 3 Stewarts building, Morrab road, Penzance (next door to Morrab Studios, within sight of Alfred Smith & Son)
Buttons and Bows celebrated its 30th birthday during the summer of 2023, after originally opening it doors on Monday 16th August, 1993. As with all things, the business has undergone some changes in that time, including changing ownership on 2 occasions.
Our story so far: our original owner, Barbara Quick, originally worked for John Knights, who was running a much larger version of the business, for a period of 7 years when he took the decision to close down his business. This lead to Barbara taking the decision to have a go at setting up her own business in one of Johns units in Knights Court just off Causeway Head not far past Rowes the bakers. This business venture took the form of Buttons and Bows, opening the doors on Monday 16th August, 1993. Over the years, she was successful enough to warrant employing a member of staff one day a week.After a good number of years in business, due to a change in her family circumstances, she took the decision to sell the business to Sheena James on the 30th June 2004, ending an era for Buttons and Bows, but also starting a new one under new ownership. This gave Sheena the opportunity to put her own stamp on the business, moving the business into its Bread Street premises in November 2009, and expanding enough to employ 6 members of staff to man the shop at different times.On the 11th August 2020, however, tragedy struck when the flat above the shop caught fire causing smoke damage to the stock within the shop, resulting in a 7 week closure. Thankfully, although this was obviously a set back for the business, along with the Covid-19 pandemic in recent years, it was down but not out and is still going strong today.In the summer of 2021, Sheena then took the decision to retire after the landlord made it known he wanted the premises back, so after some negotiations, Buttons and Bows went through its secound change of ownership, with the current owner Mandy Paul, with the assistance of her son, Duncan, took over the running of the shop on Tuesday 7th December 2021 and opened the doors at the current premises on Monday 13th December, 2021
Owner and Store Manager
Mandy Paul is originally from St Ives, moving to Penzance around 2009 & still lives in the town.
Mandy also runs Kernow Knitting & spent several years attending craft fairs selling her goodies.
She started work at 14 in retail summer jobs, moved into working in preschools, primary schools, then 3 years in care work, before the opportunity to Buttons & Bows arose, opening the doors of the shop as the new owner on 13th December 2021.
Duncan Paul is the son of Mandy Paul, also originating in St Ives, he spent a number of years in london between 2012 and 2016, before returning to cornwall, following Mandy into Penzance.
After spending several years working in hospitality in a variety of front and back of house roles, in 2020 Duncan moved into logistics, working with amazon at their redruth site.
Although he has supported Mandy with Kernow Knitting, running the occasional stall on her behalf, Duncan only really got involved in the family business when Mandy took over Buttons & Bows in December 2021. Initially he was only doing 1 day a week, working behind the counter to free Mandy up to deal with things like paperwork and visiting the bank, while also maintianing his position with amazon, however he has since reduced his hours at amazon and now spends 3 days a week supporting Mandy with back office roles such as managing the website and point of sale system for the shop.