Sharon Atherton joined the Good Liverpool community late last year and has been a brilliant member of the family since. To celebrate International Women's Day we spoke to many of our female-led businesses and we couldn't do that without speaking to the owner of Fabric Snug. Take a look to see what she had to say on International Women's Day and all things Fabric Snug.
We love showing off the faces behind our beautiful businesses, tell us more about yourself!
I'm a mum, grandma, and partner with a lifelong interest in textiles. I worked as a Social Worker previously and stopped to look after my mum who has Alzheimer's and when it was time to return to work I wanted to follow my passion and do something more creative and so that for me would be working with Textiles.
Tell us about your business
I source designer and quality linens and sell on a great value or create bespoke homewares from Roman Blinds, curtains, cushions, table cloths, and on. We use even the smallest leftover piece to make a makeup bag or pencil case. We are trying to be as responsible and sustainable as possible. I work with remnants of the most beautiful designer fabrics that would otherwise be thrown away and create what we can from the amount we have.
Did you always think that one day you would be running your own business?
Yes it was a challenge as I come from a background where people work for other people. I was determined to have a go a had previously set up in business in social care and so that was a useful backdrop.
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business?
Setting up a business during Covid has been difficult. I find at times the nature of my business is not taken seriously in that homewares are dismissed as not important. I believe, however, that our environments do play a significant part in supporting good mental health and that if we can create a cozy home, a sanctuary it helps our overall health and wellbeing. I also believe this can be done on a budget and especially using textiles. I work in an area that is very female orientated, often with extremely skilled individuals, and I don't see the recognition and financial rewards that would be there in a predominantly male area of work.
What advice would you give to other women starting out in business?
Network!! Find like-minded women also setting up small businesses, don't be afraid to ask for help, look out for any grants available Access learning with e.g. the Women's Organisation. I have always felt supported and empowered working in partnership with others so look for those opportunities.
Where do you see your business going next?
I am still in the early stages and would like to build up my Instagram followers, promote the ethos of the business in creating bespoke homewares at affordable prices, and reducing textile waste. I love creating and designing pieces. There is a real trend in Gighma patterns at the moment and I am enjoying working with this pattern. I have also worked with a number of customers to create collections of cushions which is harder than it sounds and I would like to work in partnership with customers to bring about their dream textiles for their homes. Ultimately it is about increasing sales of my products to a degree that means the business can exist and develop for the next few years and from then I would like to spend some time working with organizations that support vulnerable people and how we can offer help, advice and provide textiles to create more positive home environments for people