5:25 PM December 9, 2021
The husband of a woman with mental health challenges believes that opening their new knitting and antique store has given him “the joy of living.”
Linda and Karl Brittin opened their new store, Past Times, in Pond World Retail Park near Lynn Road, Wisbech on Saturday December 4th.
It’s an idea the couple have been considering for “two or three years,” but when the opportunity to fill an empty store unit presented itself, they seized it.
“Several years ago Linda had depression and we tried to find something that was a reason to get up in the morning,” Karl said.
“I started to encourage her to do crafts like she crochet and knit.
“We tried craft fairs, but there were usually too many of us selling the same thing and it was getting difficult. ”
In addition to handcrafted crochet gifts and antiques, including WWI memorabilia, Linda offers tuition classes for those who want to try a new skill.
There is also space for people who may not be able to afford or are at risk of running a store due to financial constraints to sell their own items as well.
“We encourage people who may not have the financial backing to bring their products to the store,” Karl said.
“By doing this, I think it brings more diversity and community to the store.
“It all forms a community and I think moving to the store has helped it grow. ”
Cllr Andrew Lynn, Mayor of Wisbech, visited the so-named Past Times to link the hobbies with items from the past.
The store is already in the process of becoming a community center, Karl thinks, which he said the mayor was happy with.
“The mayor liked what he saw and the community side that we are promoting,” Karl said.
“It will take time and we will continue to do what we are doing. ”
Linda and Karl currently have a three-month lease on the store, for a monthly extension.
Since moving to Wisbech 21 years ago, the couple have hoped not only to prosper in business, but also to bring happiness to residents.
“The store gave Linda a zest for life,” Karl added.
“We’re just trying to see if it will work; it seemed like the right time and the right place and I have a good feeling about it.