Rachel Dodson

Member Article

Rachel Cushions Herself Against the Recession

When her job as a recruitment manager ceased to hold its appeal, Rachel Dobson of North Shields decided it was high time for a complete career change.

Recognising a turbulent job market, Rachel decided to make something happen for herself and has turned a long time hobby into a new business venture instead.

After learning to sew at the age of seven, followed by many years of making stitched gifts for friends and family, Oh Sew Contemporary is the result - an innovative cushion and handmade stitched gifts company.

So now Rachel has swapped 45 hours a week in the office for alternating between her sewing-room at home, networking events and developing her business with new retailers. Delighted with the way her business idea has been received, she says:

“I’ve always worked in sales, as a travel agent, holiday rep and in the recruitment industry for six years so I’m no stranger to knocking on doors for business.

“I’ve been encouraged by how friendly and supportive everybody is in helping a small business to get on its feet. Tyne and Wear offers some fantastic support, in the form of business networks and forums and resources like the Business Factory in North Shields.

“If more people knew about the help available they might be encouraged to leave jobs in which they’re unhappy and take that scary leap of faith to do something they actually enjoy.

“My boyfriend has been a fantastic help in creating my website for me. As this is my primary marketing tool I needed to get it right and I have also had incredible support from my friend Naomi Atkinson, who has designed my logo and branding for me.”

Rachel began trading in July and already her six cushion ranges are stocked in ten North East retailers, from Seahouses to Sunderland and can be purchased from her own website, Google checkout and Etsy.com.

With ranges including campervans, animals and nautical themes, all cushions are duck feather stuffed and 100% cotton, supporting the company values ‘affordable luxury, accessible to the masses, with no compromise on quality and, wherever possible, supporting British business’.

Alongside its six “Oh Sew…” cushion ranges, Oh Sew Contemporary also sells quirky and hand stitched door signs, handmade wedding favours and cross stitched greeting cards from its website. Joining the website will soon be handmade cushions, featuring a child’s name, made to order.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Leigh Chelton .

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