Please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Leah Nicholls, founder and owner of Sleeping Beauties and Dreaming the Wild.
Can you please tell us what inspired you to became a maker?
I have been a fashion designer to the UK high street for the last 10 years, specifically working with printed clothing from India. Unfortunately I was made redundant from my Design Manager role last year and I saw this as a sign to start something of my own. I always look forward to all the UK festivals in summer and enjoy European glamping holidays with friends. A beautifully printed cotton sleeping bag just clicked in my head when I really thought about what it was that I wanted to do, so I set up “Sleeping Beauties”. These sleeping bags are made in India and since I design my own prints, I wanted to make my own products myself too. Therefore, my Etsy shop “Dreaming the Wild” is the platform for all my hand-made throws, tote bags and bunting. I will also be making dream catchers and sleepwear. Watch this space!
I tried to see myself in 20 years time and whether I still wanted to be in the same job. The thought of still being in the same fashion career filled me with dread so working for myself, developing my own ideas for my own brand is definitely the end-game.
What is it like owning two businesses and juggling life?
Owning your own business is both liberating and terrifying! You realise that however experienced you are in your field, there is still so much you don’t know…everything is a learning curve. This is both good and bad and can be overwhelming at times. However, if starting your own business was easy, then everyone would do it! At the beginning of summer I took a part time job in my local haberdashery to help with bills and dare I say it, debt! This has been great as it helps me plan my time better to fit around fixed working hours and I get to use the sewing machines and overlockers in the studio at the shop! 🙂
Thank you very much Leah for joining us. Might you have some words of wisdom to inspire?
Don’t forget to give yourself a break…you’re the only one who can!