Redundant worker launches fashion business

Lauren Dowling and her fashion designs
Lauren Dowling and her fashion designs
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LAUREN Dowling is the sort of woman who rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it.

So when the 24-year-old from Gleadless was made redundant in January, it wasn’t the JobCentre she turned to - it was the sewing machine.

Now she is sitting back and enjoying a rich seam of success after launching her clothes line, Dread Funky.

Her clothes are, currently on display as part of Sheffield Showcase in a shop window at the bottom of Pinstone Street.

“I started making my own clothes and I got quite a taste for it,” said Lauren.

“I’m not making any money from it yet... but I’m hoping it will take off.”

Lauren’s designs are bright and bold, and designed to fit any size.

She said: “I’ve made them to fit all sizes as a lot of them are wrap around and can be adjusted to fit any shape.”

She makes her clothes completely from scratch.

“The clothes are bohemian in style and easy to wear, so they should suit a wide range of people,” she added.

Lauren’s no student of fashion - her talents are strictly home-grown and thanks to her nimble-fingered family.

“My mum always sewed and my grandma used to make her own clothes too,” she said.

“I remember mum making me my first dancing dress when I was very young and when I was 13, I remember thinking about how the clothes were actually made.

“In January I lost my job, bought a sewing machine, and just took it from there.”

Sheffield Showcase aims to boost visitor numbers for businesses still operating in the area around the stalled Sevenstone retail development site.

The aim of the project is to give future entrepreneurs who will drive the success of the New Retail Quarter in years to come the chance to show off their skills to the public.