Rachel Concannon

Business Owner, Rachel’s Textiles Studio

Everyday is different – I open up around 9ish (officially open at 10 most days). If I don’t have a class, the day involves serving customers, sorting paper work, ordering new stock. Huge amounts of tidying as the fabrics and trims all get a bit messy, or depending on what mood I am in I will tackle the many sewing projects that I have on the go. If I have a class then it is full on helping students with their work and then clearing up after that.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
As a business owner, I need to be able to deal with the paper work and make sure that I am balancing my books. As a teacher, I need to have a high level of sewing and teaching skills. And as a maker I need to be creative.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
I was teaching up to A-level Textiles at JCG School for many years. I decided four years ago that I needed a career change and wanted to be my own boss again. It was a bit scary as I was earning a very good salary as a teacher and it was all down to me to make my business a success. Jersey business helped a great deal when I set up.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love it so much: being my own boss, with no one to tell me what to do; seeing the wonderful outcomes and the joy that people have during the many classes that I take; being creative and producing my own work and living amongst the amazing fabrics and trims.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
It is hard slog, physically and mentally. My husband helps with the clearing and sorting, but the paperwork is huge, I can’t afford to be ill and I don’t often get holiday time.

What training / quali cations did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
I gained a BED in Home Economics many moons ago & have honed my skills over the years attending many food courses, particularly in sugar art and more over the last 15 years or so in Art Textiles.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
You do need to have high-end skills if you want to sew for a living. Working in the field alongside a skilled professional would be useful. You do need to love to sew.