Linzi Brown on swapping her job as a staff nurse for her Fordingbridge sewing business
PUBLISHED: 15:12 17 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:12 17 October 2014
From staff nurse to sewing maestro, Linzi Brown took the decision to take her career down a completely different path; but is it paying off?
Since her mum taught her to sew as a child, Linzi has always enjoyed being creative; spending her spare time practising arts and crafts. Despite working for 16 happy years as a staff nurse, she knew she wanted to give it all up to focus on running her own business. She explains: “I started selling the things I made as a hobby whilst working as a nurse. I then registered the business name and it grew from there. I found I longed to sew and create all the time, and so went full time two years ago.”
Leaving the hospital behind to focus on Dangly Hearts brought about a big change in her life. She may work longer hours, but they are set by her and as she says: “I can be in the studio at 6am if I want to or 10am if I don’t.”
Coming out of a team environment was difficult for Linzi, who now consults Google for help if she doesn’t know the answer. But she couldn’t have made it happen if it wasn’t for her husband Jason, who is now an integral part of the business.
When it comes to thinking up new designs Linzi explains: “Often new ideas come from customer requests; or I can be having a simple conversation and it will trigger something. This summer, we had been walking in the lanes around our house and the hedgerow flowers inspired me to create a series of stitched pictures. I’m not a great drawer, so often designs will be tested out in fabric first.”
Linzi makes every effort to source her materials from the UK, as she says: “Supporting local and UK business is important to us.” She is lucky enough to work out of her light filled studio at home in Fordingbridge; but as her business grows she will be looking to knock through to the adjacent room to allow for expansion. With both retail and trade customers, we don’t think it will be long before that extra space is needed.
You will often see Linzi exhibiting at shows throughout the year, and especially around Christmas, when you can pick up some lovely gifts. She opened up her house during Hampshire Open studio this year and will be doing so again on November 22 and 23 with offerings of mulled wine and mince pies to get you in to the festive spirit.
Looking to the future Linzi says: “I’d love Dangly Hearts to be a coveted brand, one that is recognisable for quality and individuality. I’d like to continue to grow the business, offer opportunities for employment and have some international stockists, but at the same time retain the roots of the business as being handmade products, made with love, care and attention to detail and finish.”
Name: Linzi Brown
Business name: Dangly Hearts Ltd
Length of time in business: 2 years
Number of employees: Me and my husband, Jason
Ethos: Heart themed textile gifts, handmade and printed in the UK