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Celebrating International Women's Day with Kirsty Leadbetter from the Liverpool Weaving Co.

Celebrating International Women's Day with Kirsty Leadbetter from the Liverpool Weaving Co.
Hi Kirsty, thanks for taking the time out to chat to us for International Women’s Day! It is a chance to celebrate the incredible women in our lives and we’re taking the chance to shout about the female-led businesses that are on the Good Liverpool platform and smashing it!

We love showing our customers the faces behind the businesses, tell us more about yourself!
I'm Kirsty Jean and I've been a Woven Textile Designer for 12 years. I'm Mama to both fleshy and furry babies! My daughter Delilah is 16 months old, I have a chocolate Labrador called Tybalt and a Parsons Russell Terrier called Franny. Weaving commissions, teaching workshops, Mumming and dog walking all keep me extremely busy!

Tell us about your business!
The Liverpool Weaving Company was founded in 2018, to facilitate my passion for woven textiles in the city I was raised in and love. This design studio is Liverpool's very first and only micro mill, offering bespoke artisan cloth and tweeds in short runs, beautiful homewares and Start Weaving Kits. I work with a plethora of clients, from alpaca farmers to haute couture brands. I also run Weaving Workshops with the aim of popularising weaving as a hobby and igniting a wider interest for this niche craft.
Did you always think that you would run your own business one day?
The Liverpool Weaving Company was founded in 2018, to facilitate my passion for woven textiles in the city I was raised in and love. This design studio is Liverpool's very first and only micro mill, offering bespoke artisan cloth and tweeds in short runs, beautiful homewares and Start Weaving Kits. I work with a plethora of clients, from alpaca farmers to haute couture brands. I also run Weaving Workshops with the aim of popularising weaving as a hobby and igniting a wider interest for this niche craft.
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business?
I'm going to have to say pregnancy! Running a small business is often challenging but trying to weave and work manually with a massive bump was certainly interesting. I was unfortunately diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy, which is excessive sickness and dehydration, it was tough being an independent creative and completing orders during this period.
What advice would you give to other women starting out in business?
Be brave and go for it! Don't doubt yourself and accept we all have weaknesses. Keep a good diary and lots of notes. 
Where do you see your business going next?
Now the end of lockdown is in sight I'm looking forward to continuing expanding my workshop reach. Before restrictions tightened, I'd booked venues further afield for my Beginners Weaving Workshops, in locations such as East Yorkshire and London. I'm also hoping to add a wider variety of yarn colour options to my Start Weaving Kits.

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