Lucy of Ipswich gets clothing and home décor business with African-inspired designs all sewn up through Realise Futures
- Credit: Realise Futures
A former Suffolk New College business studies student is set to launch a new clothing and home décor business using African designs.
As she gears up to launch her business, Lucy Grace, 24, of Ipswich, is showcasing her African-style purses, cushions and throws at an enterprise day being run by Suffolk adult learning provider Realise Futures Learning and Development at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich on July 11.
It is one of two enterprise events the company is running for its enterprise skills students to show off their work. The other event takes place at the Kirkley Centre in Lowestoft on July 1. Both run from 10am to 2.30pm.
Lucy attended a nine-week sewing Skills for Business and Enterprise course run by Realise Futures in Ipswich, and is now launching online business with mum, Martha Grace, and other students from the course after they set up a social enterprise called Unity Enterprise.
“I knew I wanted to run my own business from the age of nine,” said Lucy. “That’s why I studied business at college. I decided I wanted to specialise in custom-made items like purses and cushions and I went to the sewing class to get the extra expertise I needed.
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“My mum came, too, to support me and we learned all about cutting fabric and elements of machine sewing useful to us. Then we all decided we might as well join together to become a social enterprise and try to sell our products collectively.”
Martha said: “We are so excited to be starting this business. We’ve done lots of research into pricing and products. We are making things that people need like mobile phone cases.”
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Martha, who is disabled, is going to make products for people with disabilities. She said: “We need cushions for wheelchairs and seats but they are so expensive, so I thought why not make some colourful cushions for people to have – and we can make matching items such as iPad covers.”
Realise Futures Skills for Work curriculum manager Imani Sorhaindo said: “The enterprise days are designed to give people who have attended our creative enterprise and skills courses the chance to come together to show off their business products and ideas. We are also hoping people interested in starting a business will come along to find out more. The events are open to everyone.”