Amy Allwright Homeware
Having studied Printed Textiles, Amy Humphreys graduated in 2010 with a real passion for designing and creating screen-printed fabrics.
Combining this love with her talent for sewing, Amy began to make gifts for family and friends. Her beautiful creations proved so popular, she started to think about turning her hobby into a business.
Her Studio tenancy really gave Amy the opportunity to get Amy Allwright Homeware off the ground.
She now has three collections – with several products within each including aprons, kitchen textiles, and mobile and tablet covers – and also undertakes bespoke projects. All of her work lovingly combines old-fashioned charm with modern practicality.
Most of her business is channelled through her website, but she also trades via a couple of independent boutiques and notonthehighstreet.com as well.
In January 2013, Amy was one of just 12 companies selected to appear at Spotted – a showcase of new UK designers – part of the Top Drawer trade show at Earl’s Court in London.
This year, Amy has launched her latest collection, Secret Garden. As well as her signature pinnies and household textiles, Amy has licensed the design to be made into table mats and coasters.
Why did you originally apply to join The Studio?
It was a fantastic opportunity for me to combine my two passions – sewing and screen-printing – and turn them into a business.
I’ve never thought of myself as an entrepreneur and the prospect of setting up in business was rather daunting.
The Studio provided me with two years’ access to the University’s specialist design facilities and expertise as well as office space and expert business support.
I spent the first three months of my tenancy costing and budgeting; working with designers to organise my website, company name and branding; and putting together a business plan.
How has being a tenant helped you to progress your business?
Being a tenant allowed me to spend two years focusing on my creative direction without being overly limited by finance or resources. I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for the School of the Arts fantastic facilities and supportive staff.
Two years on, where is your business now?
I have just launched my third collection, Secret Garden, which I am selling online and into boutique shops. Since leaving the Studio I've been able to set up a home studio space, where I work on every aspect of my business – sewing, drawing, designing, admin...
What are your planned next steps?
Since the birth of my daughter I’ve spend most of my time caring for her – which I thoroughly enjoy! She loves the sound of my sewing machine, so I'm still able to process orders and keep Amy Allwright in motion. I'll soon be getting ready for Christmas 2014 – I'm planning to attend Christmas markets across the region.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a Studio residency?
It's a brilliant leg-up for starting your own business.