I did my foundation course at Hereford College of Arts because I was originally planning on going away to university to be a teacher, but at the last minute decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do and that I wanted something more creative. Throughout my foundation course I realised that I wanted to do the degree in Design Crafts at HCA, I really wanted to move away from Hereford; but I went to look at all of the other courses and Hereford was the best, for both its tutors and its facilities.
My favourite things about the course include my tutor, Ed Gaze! (now retired). The workshop facilities, as it’s really special to have had all of the different workshops, which were all so well equipped; as well as expert technicians who can help. Also that each student had their own separate workspace to work in, it was as if you had your own studio within the college.
Sarah’s business, Williams British Handmade has been included in Selfridges & Co’s Bright Young Things Class of 2013.
My business Williams Handmade, has gone from strength to strength. we showed at London Fashion Week earlier this year (2015) and have gained stockists for the collection in the UK and China. To support this growth I have moved to a larger workshop.
The new workshop and gallery is in Lions Yard in Leominster. This is ideal for me as half of the space is my workshop where I make all of the leathergoods and the other half is a gallery space where I can display and sell my own collection as well as other british crafts, including jewellery, homewear, knitwear, etc. Having this larger space has also meant that I have been able to start running workshops where I can pass my leather skills onto other people.
When you are a small business it is very difficult to try and compete against large companies who have massive budgets, but there is a lot of support and help for new designers which has been very beneficial for me.