Children’s clothes shop retiree thanks Potters Bar community for the nearly 50 years

PUBLISHED: 09:54 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 27 October 2020

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Archant

A Potters Bar seamstress who has fitted children with their school uniforms for 47 years will retire next week, but the embroidery part of the business will continue.

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlinThe Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

Joy Prince’s first shop was in Cuffley before she moved her trade to Lee Joy in High Street more than 20 years ago, and in that time she has sold clothes to thousands of Potters Bar parents.

“For 47 years I have fitted children and now many are coming back with their own,” she told the WHT.

That experience allows her to “fit a child within 20 minutes” and guess anyone’s clothes size – which she did for the WHT after some pressing from our reporter. The 75-year-old has not got tired of the children or parents and said she “still loves it but [I’m] going while [I’m] fit and well”.

The shop is still thriving with lots of business coming from Bishop’s Hatfield Girl’s School, Chancellor’s and Dame Alice Owen’s among other primary and secondary schools in the area.

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlinThe Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

“I’ve been very busy,” she said. “Even now lots of people are coming in for sports wear.”

But she said COVID-19 has disrupted parts of the supply chain, which has made getting natural fibres really difficult as China and Bangladesh shut up shop during lockdown.

“You can’t get a fleece for love nor money,” she said.

She also said she has never had any issues with the children – who see her as the lolly shop.

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlinThe Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

“You get a lolly when you leave,” she said. “So I’m known as the lolly shop.

“I can’t believe the amount of people coming and saying I’m going to miss you.”

“I would just like to say thank you to all my customers and anyone wishing to say goodbye please pop in,” she said.

Joy will be there until Friday, November 6 when the store will be taken over by Hatfield children’s clothes shop Smarty Schoolwear.

The Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlinThe Lee Joy shop is closing but will be taken over by a Hatfield company. Picture: Charlotte McLaughlin

“I wish them all the best,” she said. “But they have their work cut out.”

Her grandmother started the fashion business as an East End draper in 1914, before it passed to her mother then to Joy – and now she shares it with her daughter-in-law Marci.

The embroidery part – which is still run by her son and Marci – will keep going and anyone who wants to contact them should come into the shop for details.


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