Meet Lucy, one of the makers of our beautiful Bordersbags. Lucy is a member of our business incubator and currently developing her own creative textiles business.
Tell us about your experiences of ReTweed
I joined ReTweed’s training programme at the start of this year. I was feeling a little bit lost since giving up my career after the birth of my first son nearly five years ago. Since then, I had a variety of part-time jobs, cleaning, admin work. But I was missing something, my confidence was low, we were struggling financially to get by, our house needed a lot of work (still does!). Feeling overwhelmed, I decided to take stock of what was important to me. I wrote a list of things that make me happy and one of them was being creative. Since starting at ReTweed, I have settled into a job in a school two nights a week, and as a befriender one day a week. My house is now a home and my confidence has grown. I feel like I’m filling in some missing gaps while still being there for my young family.
Everyone at ReTweed – all the staff, volunteers and students – has made me feel very welcome. Jill has endless patience and kindness, Hazel has an abundance of understanding, dedication, resilience and humour, Emily is never without a smile, even when she is drowning in fabric, Rachel is so full of creativity, ideas and the commitment to make sure they happen. The volunteers seem to have never-ending enthusiasm and are all prepared to work hard.
As a budding entrepreneur with ReTweed’s business incubator, what are you most looking forward to?
Getting the chance to be creative, experimenting with textures and colours. I’ve loved sewing since completing a short evening course about 10 years ago. I bought a sewing machine with an inheritance from my grandad – he was a vicar and very practical, and my granny was a sewer and an amazing knitter, my favourite thing she made was a nativity.
A favourite ReTweed product?
I really like the idea of reusing unloved fabrics and giving them a second chance at being loved and being practical, so the Bordersbag in the African print is a favourite of mine. It reminds me of travelling through Africa. I love African textiles, the large printed patterns and the amazing, often really unusual colour combinations. And vintage textiles with bright, retro prints and fun, clashing colours. I admire the textile designer Orla Kiely, her use of colour and the simplified forms.
What inspires you?
Definitely my children. I enjoy making things for them, things they have asked for that can’t be bought, like a dragon costume three hours before a birthday party, but worn every day since! I like looking at folk art, the simplicity and use of colour. I particularly like vintage folk art from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, the colour, symmetry and pattern.
Tell us about living in the Borders
I grew up in Abbey St Bathans, it’s stunning, remote and full of memories for me. I moved away for a while but returned to the Borders three years ago. I now live in Coldingham, it feels like the perfect place to bring up a family. From our doorstep, we can walk to community woodland and down to Coldingham Sands, a lovely, quiet beach, to play, snorkel and surf. Cockburn Law has amazing views over the surrounding Borders countryside and across to the Cheviots.
Best way to spend a day in the Borders?
This blog post was written by Melanie Thomson – ReTweed Marketing Volunteer