Spirit Original Designs owned by Trish Evans is one of our local handmade designers and her skills range from bag making, to jewellery, clothing and homewares. The business currently resides inside the Oh Sew Sweet Shop at Wombwell and we had a bit of a chat to her about how it all began. Visit Spirit’s Facebook page here.
BFC: Hi Trish, as a local Barnsley creative, what was it that got into doing your business originally?
Trish: I have loved sewing and being creative from when I was at school. I had a very stressful job and needed to chill and take a step back for health reasons. This is wear my creative and sewing skills made another appearance in my life and now i’m not stressed at all!
BFC: That’s great that you almost use it as a relaxation method. Which creative skills did you start out with first? And is that what you still do now or have they evolved to other things?
Trish: I could sew at school so I would say that. I was also good with art at school too, then came making bridal head-wear in the early 80’s. Initially this business began with jewellery making and we still do that.
BFC: So that’s already a few skills you had under your belt early on. You now also do clothing as part of your business don’t you? Could you tell us how that came about?
Trish: I would say from about the second year when we had already progressed into bag making and neck wraps, customers were asking us for clothes. They kept asking “when are you going to start making clothes?”. To be honest I was happy with the business as it was but I gave in! I thought, give the customers what they want. That’s how our clothes range started.
BFC: It’s always good to listen to what your customers want. How would you describe the style of you clothing?
Trish: Individual. We only make one of everything so u wont be wearing the same dress as someone else! Individual with a twist.
BFC: And how would you describe your customer base that wanted you to make these clothes?
Trish: The same customers that keep coming back and new ones too. The age group that initially requested clothes were around 18-35 year old. I tend to get a lot of requests for races and weddings. I love creating something unusual.
BFC: Having returning customers are so valuable to any business. Do they still come to see you in your new home at the Oh sew Sweet Shop? Could you tell us a bit about the new place?
Trish: Oh yes. Since moving here it has gone from strength to strength! New customers all the time! Its a hub of life! A fabric shop, cafe and our boutique all in one!
BFC: Sounds like a wonderful little place! So out of all your fashion-y items, which are you favourite to make? Dresses? Bags? Jewellery?
Trish: Mmmmm I think dresses! 😀
BFC: Haha! And lastly, what piece of advice would you give to new business startups?
Trish: Listen to your customers and hang in there!