Today I am kicking off a new feature on the blog where I look back at the past and focus on jobs that we used to do. I am asking you to email in with a job that you used to do that is completely different to what you do now, just to show how your life has changed. Maybe you’re now in a high-flying job after working for your self? maybe you’re now in a creative job after working for a big corporation, what ever the story I want to hear from you!
I thought I’d start the ball rolling and share with you one of my past jobs! My life as a Fashion Designer/Dress maker. Between 1998 – 2003 I worked for myself under my own fashion label ‘LOUD’.
After finishing University in 1994 with a degree in Creative Arts, I went onto get my first proper job as a Theatrical Costumier where I worked making patterns, sewing and altering costumes for many national productions. With a few random jobs thrown in between in 1998 I decided I would set my own fashion label up and off I went!
At this point in my life I lived in Nottingham, and I started off working from home in my spare bedroom. I started making tailor-made outfits for people, through a shop in Leicester. I then put my own collections together, selling them to small boutiques across the country. I specialised in club wear, being a big clubber at the time it was a natural progression. Things took off and I moved into a studio in the lace market in Nottingham. Here people would come and have outfits designed and made, mainly going out stuff for the weekend, clubwear, evening wear and special occasion wear. I also did alternations and I then moved on to get bigger commitions for night clubs making costumes for dancers, as well as uniforms. I also managed to get a few DJs on my client list.
Things were good, I was really busy and managed to get a team of seamstresses that I used to subcontract work out to for the bigger bulk orders. However things changed as the fashions changed. People stopped getting so dressed up to go out, they stopped wanting dresses for the weekend and wanted tops to go with jeans instead. I started making more ball dresses for students and outfits for older ladies. I knew things had to stop when the majority of the orders I was getting in was evening and bridal wear. something (ironically) I had absolutely no interest in. I loved club wear, the high fashion, the quick turnover was what I thrived on, wedding dresses were a whole different story and not something I wished to carry in with.
So coupled with a recent split from my Ex Fiance, I decided that things needed to change so I packed up shop and got a new job in fashion recruitment! For a few months I carried on making bits and bobs for people at home, along with things for myself, but with the pressure of my full-time job I found I needed to stop completely. I sold my industrial machines and bought a little domestic one instead.
In all honestly I hardly ever sew now, I have kept all my patterns and some fabric, but I never get the time to get it all out. It’s a skill I hope I will use again sometime in the future, I’d love my own little sewing room in our future house, a little creative haven! However I love my job now so I have no regrets! I’m proud that I used to do it and I had a blast in the process!
So what about you? I’d love to hear your story. If you would like to share your career story then email me [email protected]