How did you get started in the world of textiles?
After graduating I worked several years in TV production which looking back never felt like a natural fit. I seemed to be at my happiest at the sewing machine, making things. So when working in TV had become a chore I decided to do something about it. I started sewing things, and before I knew it I was making underwear for myself and then for friends, and soon to shops too! I still remember taking a box of handmade knickers to my favourite shop at the time, the Dispensary on Newman street in Soho and the Buyer there bought the whole box there and then! It is thanks to her that I plucked the courage to start my journey with Bessie, my first foray into running a business and a brand.
Looking back, I have no idea how I knew how to do it at the time and how I found out the right contacts - there's a beauty in all that fearlessness and naivety - but Bessie got stocked in some very prestigious stores like Selfridges, Fenwicks and Topshop too and my range was used for some great campaigns like Kate Moss’ London Look with Rimmel. Her wearing my handmade bra was definitely one of my career highlights!
At the time I was making everything by hand, I was happy and it was taking ALL OF my time. About this time I was also pregnant with my first child, Elmer (who is now 16!). Not long after Elmer was born, I was offered a fantastic opportunity to work as a Buying Assistant at Topshop, on their underwear team and with a little one now to look after, it seemed like a sensible step to take, so I accepted the offer. That is how my career in Buying started. I worked in fashion buying for the next 10+ years and loved it, but once you’ve been your own boss for a while I suppose it stays with you and as years went by people often kept asking me wouldn't I want to start something of my own again?
So after my third child was born in 2017 I decided it was time to start my own business and relocate to somewhere slower and greener and here we are today, running Projektityyny and Steps Barn, our little ‘hideaway in the woods’. Projektityyny wasn’t of course born in a day - alongside my career in fashion I had started to develop an interest for interiors and this interest just grew as I grew older. I was making things by hand in my spare time and selling them through Instagram, and when we moved to the country I decided to officially launch the brand at Pulse - when Lumi, our daughter was only 2 months old. I started working with a factory whom I had a very close relationship with already. They had fantastic soft furnishings capabilities, so I spoke to them and I'm glad to say they were happy to help me on this journey! I still work with the same people today and I don't know where I'd be without this factory.