Sew far, so good for Jayne

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FASHION designer and dressmaker Jayne Maxwell is urging youngsters to follow her lead, grab their needle and thread and sew the seeds of their own success.

FASHION designer and dressmaker Jayne Maxwell is urging youngsters to follow her lead, grab their needle and thread and sew the seeds of their own success.

Jayne, from Maltby, launched her own business, called Thinbelina with help from the Rotherham Enterprise Project.

The company specialises in made-to-measure lingerie, boned corsets, tutus and bustle dresses made from everything from leather to printed fabric.

Business is booming, with customers ranging from female clients who want clothes that are a bit special and you won’t find in the shops to transvestites.

“Some of my best customers are transvestites, as they simply can’t find anywhere selling clothes that will fit them because for a lot of them, their proportions are different,” says Jayne

“Plus my corsets can reduce waist measurements by up to four inches – they love it!”

Jayne worked in the knitwear industry for years and has sewed garments for Marks & Spencer, but loves being her own boss and encouraging others to do the same.

“I absolutely love what I do. I think it’s so important for young ones these days to gain useful tailoring skills. We need to get sewing back where it should be as I know some young girls who can’t sew on a button.

“As for shops, they charge a fortune for items you could make yourself for half the price.”

The 47-year-old mother of two’s daughters, nursing student Emma, 21 and Hayley, 16 are helping drum up business by modelling her designs at wedding and craft fairs.

Jayne is beginning to look further afield, with the help of Rotherham Enterprise Project, which has given her essential business advice, including how to cut overheads and grow her business.

“The project has helped me look at approaching specialist tailoring shops in Harrogate to stock my designs, signposted me to courses about business branding and helped me come up with a business plan – which I had been avoiding as it can be quite daunting to do for the first time,” says Jayne.

“I would love to open a store selling my designs and fabrics and run workshops to teach the craft of clothes-making.

“There are a lot of options the Rotherham Enterprise Project has shown me – it’s very exciting.”

Rachael Clark, of Rotherham Investment & Development Office said: “Jayne is a determined business woman whose fantastic designs are impressing a wide range of customers from far and wide.

“We are thrilled to have been able to help Jayne on her way into enterprise and hope Thinbelina will be a continued success.”