A former dressmakers in Glasgow which dates back to 1923 has been transformed into a boutique wedding venue by young entrepreneurs.

The owners of the new multi-purpose event space, near Charing Cross on Sauchiehall Street, are already capitalising on a backlog of Covid-delayed weddings with a flurry of Summer bookings.

The Haberdashery is named after a ladies’ tailors which operated in the building for more than 50 years from 1923 and is the first venture by friends Afton Ferguson, 22, an event planner, and Nikki Fairfull, 25, who left a career in the property sector to launch the business

They came across the venue while searching online ad site Gumtree and spent months at the nearby Mitchell Library tracing the building’s history back to 1903. 

Plans obtained by the school friends show that the original building was owned by a Walter J Hills and the dressmakers incorporated a neighbouring building with one area designated the "bodice room". However they were unable to trace the name of the tailors.

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“It was so interesting to see how it was all originally laid out," said Ms Fairfull, who grew up in Milngavie. "That was why we wanted to put the history into the branding.

"When people see it, I think the venue will sell itself.

"I fell in love the moment I walked in – there was so much natural light and it was much more grand than I expected, with its traditional cornicing, marble pillars and exposed brick. It just felt so romantic.


"I know how many people are struggling to book wedding venues right now so we hope we can provide the perfect blank canvas to those people straight away.

“Within a few years, we believe this will be one of the most popular wedding venues in Glasgow.”

Ms Ferguson, a University of Strathclyde graduate who is from Bearsden, said the renovation project had taken longer than expected but said the end results had been worth the time invested.

She said: "We spent a week brushing the stonework alone – there was so much dust.
“We want to respect the space and maintain its charm, while giving an old building a fresh perspective.  

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“Previously the building was an eyesore for the local community.


"As soon as we removed the graffitied boards and fixed the broken windows, we received so much positive feedback. We’re proud to be adding value to the local area.”

The owners hope the revitalised venue, which has been empty since a Christopher Wray lighting showroom closed down in 2016, will be a positive addition to Sauchiehall Street alongside forward-thinking projects such as the McLellan works.

Ms Fairfull has lived in Seville, Madrid and Barcelona, but said she has always been drawn back to Glasgow.

She said: “I take so much inspiration from all the cities I’ve lived in. Barcelona in particular has so many spaces for art exhibitions and creative spaces. Glasgow deserves more of them.

“So much has been said about the decline of the city centre, but we just have to think about the city centre and its surrounding areas differently.

"Glasgow will always be a great shopping city, but we want to be part of a movement of businesses who are attracting people back to the city centre in other ways.

“We can give an old building a new young perspective – it’s time for Glasgow to let the next generation bring their ideas to the table and bring the city back to life, especially after the last two years."

She believes the pair have created “a fully flexible space" for creative businesses. 

She added: “There are so many innovative people in Glasgow with so many ideas.

"Our mission is to provide a space for them to make their vision come true, whether that is their wedding, their art or their brand.

"As working from home increasingly becomes the norm, we are also inviting businesses to use the space for company off-sites. “

The  venue has also previously traded as a grocer, stationery business and lighting showroom.