I'm very guarded now. I never give out my home phone number or address and always check under my car before I get in it. One furrier had a letter bomb sent to him. Another was followed home. My family, obviously, are concerned about my safety. But they know l'm fairly sensible and if I really felt threatened, they know I wouldn't do it any longer. But, why should I give in? It's terrorism really. The hostility has created real solidarity among the staff. I care about the other workers very much and we all look out for each other. Despite all the negative publicity, I still feel good about selling fur. I'm a great animal lover and if I thought the animals were made to suffer, I couldn't continue. But, if one eats meat and wears leather, and the animal is not endangered, I really don't see the problem.
A fur coat used to be something people really aspired to. It was special. A luxury garment. The anti-fur people have tried to change that image, but our customers still feel it's something special. It's satisfying when you build a relationship with customers. They'll call when they've worn the fur and tell you all about what happened. lt makes you feel like one of the family. Equally, it can be fun when a rich Arab or Middle Eastern woman comes in, picks something, hands you a credit card, and then goes, having spent thousands of pounds. The shop closes at 5pm, but I work for as long as I have to. This winter, despite all the demonstrations, has been extremely busy. It's like being a mole. I haven't seen much daylight."
Clare Campbell was talking to Sally WilliamsReuse content