Hello I hope you are well. Things are very busy here at the moment with all Christmas orders coming in thick and fast. I really enjoy the lead up to Christmas it's very exciting and it's even better these days since having children ☺️ anyway, I thought my next blog post should give you an insight into me a little more and my background. Some of you already know me quite well so I am sorry if I am going over old ground.
Basically I have always lived in Norton, Malton (Norton-on-Derwent) if I want to be accurate! I went to the local primary school and secondary school and was a middle of the road kid. I did alright in school lets say. Then I applied for York College. For some insane reason a couple of weeks before starting my Fashion Design Course at York I decided I wanted to go to the local 6th Form! Disaster. I chose to do Health and Social care, Biology and Business Studies. Not really sure why it all went completely over my head. I wanted to leave after a few months as I hated it but my mum made me see the year out so after my 1st year and getting UNCLASSIFIED in my AS EXAMS I left to go back to York and study fashion design. I LOVED it.
I have grown up with sewing all my life really. My mum always made our curtains, mended our clothes etc, My gran on my mothers side knitted and sew. My Grandad on my dads side worked as a cutter in a clothing factory in Leeds and my gran was a seamstress, so you could say it is within my blood.
I did 4 years at at York College. Here I studied a ND and HND in fashion design. I won 1st prize Merchant Taylors Award 2008 for my final collection. I was a finalist for the Yorkshire Fashion Idol competition 2008 for a dress I had designed, and I had the oppourtunity to work for Westlife whilst they were on tour. I loved every aspect of the courses at York (apart from art history 🙄) and when the option came to go off and do a year top-up to make my HND a degree I just didn't know what area to focus on so I left college and just got on with life. I met my now husband whilst I was finishing my course and we went travelling for a couple of months after I left college. On my return I did whatever work I could, waitress, van driver, debt collector and sales assistant.
In 2010 I launched ‘Charlotte Lucy’ making bespoke one off pieces for women. This went well and I did it alongside holding a part time job down, so I knew I had a steady income to live off as the sewing work could be so varied. As wonderful as making bespoke occasion wear was it was extremely stressful and I never charged myself out correctly so it never really earnt me a lot of money. So at the end of 2011 I decided to start creating ready to wear collections. The first ever ‘Charlotte Lucy’ collection was 2012. These are a few images from the full collections:
2012 photographer Joe Dodsworth
Then 2013 photographer Joe Dodsworth
I also got married in 2013 and made my wedding dress, my bridesmaid dresses, my mothers outfit and all the men's accessories.
Photographer Joe Dodsworth
2014 Collection photographer Joe Dodsworth
Then in 2015 I was asked by the Great Yorkshire Show to produce a collection for their fashion tent so I decided to launch the collection exclusively there. Photographer Dan Whittleton
All garments that I made for these collections were all designed, pattern cut and handmade by myself. They were made to order and I basically sold them through word of mouth, my website and social media. Looking back now it was something that was always going to be difficult to get off the ground. Again I never charged my time out properly as I was worried people wouldn't pay the true cost for the garments and I struggled with actually getting the Label out there and in front of the right people. When I did the collection for the Great Yorkshire Show in 2015, I was actually pregnant with my first son Seth, so in one way it was my final collection for Charlotte Lucy as I was never going to be able to continue it when I had a baby to look after. At this point I decided to shut the label down and concentrate on been mum for a while. It wasn't long till we had another baby, 19 months apart so it was a blessing I had put the label to sleep as I now I had my hands full more than ever before.
Sewing has and is always going to be a big passion of mine. It's what I do, and if I can make a living at it then to me I am winning. In 2017 after a break from it all a few friends mentioned to me about making their little ones some bloomers, so I gave a few a go and actually thought I might be able to make a bit of money on these so the seed was planted and Charlotte Lucy was Re-launched as a childrenswear label 🌱.