Thurston: Designer hopes to develop her business through scheme

A DESIGNER from Thurston hopes her luxury accessories will be in the high-end shops before too long thanks to a scheme to support her fledgling business.

Victoria Carter, 35, who is a printed textiles graduate from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA), has been selected for the Craft Council’s Hothouse East scheme.

Through the six-month programme, Mrs Carter will have the chance to learn skills such as marketing, manufacturing and product development, as well as having access to experts and being able to build up her contacts.

The success of a Marks & Spencer limited edition shift dress, which she designed the print for while at the RCA, gave her the confidence she needed to set up her own accessories label, Carter and Sykes.

She said: “I would love to sell in Liberty or high-end shops like that, and art gallery shops.”

Mrs Carter, who lectures at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds, initially did a degree in graphic design, but then decided to move into printed textiles.

The Hothouse programme offers support to makers who are within two years of setting up their business and who already display a high level of technical craftsmanship and originality. Hothouse East is being run in partnership with Smiths Row gallery in Bury and the University of Hertfordshire. Visit