13 March 2014

Customer makes new start with sewing business

One of our customers has found life after redundancy by starting a new business teaching sewing skills.

One of our customers has found life after redundancy by starting a new business teaching sewing skills.

Tracey Christie had been working at Osbornes Stationers in Arnold, Nottingham, when the firm went into administration in December and she lost her job. But she decided to turn the setback into a positive experience by taking the opportunity to start a business called Simple Sewing Workshops

Tracey now teaches people how to use sewing machines to make clothes, curtains, cushion covers and other simple items. She has rented a unit at our Arnold Business Centre, in Nottingham, where she holds her classes and workshops. 

She says "I have been sewing myself for over 35 years. I started making my own clothes at the age of 13 and I’m a self-taught dressmaker. I then did a basic course in tailoring at night school to find out how to finish things off and make them look professional."

After decades of being passionate about sewing, Tracey decided it was time to pass her skills on to people who wanted to have a go but weren’t sure where to start. She already has some experience running a business as for the last three years she has been making and selling bags over the internet. She says: 

When I was made redundant, I decided to try and do something for myself. My husband is retired and I wasn’t keen to take a job where I was tied to a contract. I wanted the flexibility of being self-employed and working on my own terms.

Tracey had originally considered moving into a shop in Arnold High Street but decided against it due to the expensive rent and the fact she would need to commit to a five-year lease. Instead she decided to rent office space at our Arnold centre.

Flexible terms and convenient location

The business centre is in a fully-restored hosiery mill and includes serviced offices and storage units

Tracey says:

I can see the mill from my kitchen window so it’s a really convenient location for me. The business unit was the right price and a good sized space. It’s just the right size for my needs.

It is still early days for Simple Sewing Workshops but Tracey has already held some classes and is hoping to spread the word about the business to more keen learners.

She says: “A lot of people don’t have sewing skills now. I think some people are frightened to use a sewing machine because they’re not sure how.

“Dressmaking is coming back into fashion. When you make your own clothes, you can create something which is well made, reflects your own individual style and actually fits you.”