A 22-year-old from Caerphilly who has worked in the costumes department for a hit Netflix series has opened her own clothing company in a bid to tackle ‘fast fashion’.
Shaunnah Crosbie set up Shaunnah’s Sew Crafty, after graduating from the University of South Wales with a degree in Costume Construction.
Shaunnah has worked in the costumes department for several television and theatre productions, including BBC’s Doctor Who and Netflix’s Sex Education.
As well as costumes, Shaunnah has now turned her attention to vintage clothes, soft furnishings and bags, while offering sewing workshops in her studio in Llantrisant.
Shaunnah said: “In the era of fast fashion and the negative impact it is having on the environment, sewing is a skill we all can benefit from having. Instead of throwing away clothes that are either old or have rips in them, we should try fixing them or upcycling them into new things.”
Shaunnah offers classes in her studio teaching people how to sew, from making cushions to bags to corsets. She has a green policy meaning there is zero waste, using all scraps of material into a new product. Anything that can’t be used, she takes to a fabric recycling service.
As well as allowing her to follow her passion, becoming a business owner has allowed Shaunnah to juggle health problems. She said: “I have diverticulitis, a bowel condition which made working full time difficult. Being able to set up my own business meant if I need to go to the hospital or take a day off, it’s much easier for me and reduces stress.”
Shaunnah started her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, the youth entrepreneurship service in Wales. Big Ideas Wales is part of Business Wales and is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.
Shaunnah found out about the service at university when Fran Hunt, a prop designer and Big Ideas Wales Role Model delivered a workshop about entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Talking about Big Ideas Wales support received so far, Shaunnah said: “The service has been a fantastic help with the whole process of setting up my business, from assisting me in creating my business plan, to teaching me about tax and helping me in secure an accelerator grant of £500.
“I have dyspraxia and Irlen Syndrome, which means I struggle with writing and structuring documents. Big Ideas Wales were a massive help when it came to proofing my business plan.”
Shaunnah has also taken advantage of some of Big Ideas Wales’ events hosted across Wales for budding businesspeople.
She continued: “I attended a networking event and a residential three-day Bootcamp to Business hosted by Big Ideas Wales in Treharris at the end of last year. This allowed me to meet and make friends with like-minded people. One of the people I met is now designing my website and I did a pop-up shop at Christmas with another.
“I can’t wait to see where my business goes and I hope that one day I will be able to offer employment to people in the local community and help teach people how to sew.”
Mark Adams, Big Ideas Wales business advisor, said: “Shaunnah is an extremely motivated young entrepreneur who has turned a passion into a business despite health challenges. It’s great to see how the Bootcamp has helped her and brought together young entrepreneurs as a network able to support one another with their businesses. I wish Shaunnah all the best for the future and I have no doubt she will achieve her goals.”
Shaunnah has also recently been nominated for an IPSE Freelancer of the Year Award – the industry body for self-employed people.