December 9 2013 Latest news:
By Anthony Carroll
Friday, September 20, 2013
They were once a regarded as the ‘fuddy duddy’ hobbiess of women of a certain age.
But a young Lowestoft woman is showing that knitting and sewing can provide the path to business success – after showing off her creative skills to prime minister David Cameron.
Jonie Worton, 23, runs Bob & John Knitwear from her home in Stanford Street, making novel and funky items, such as name cushions, purses, scarves and gloves, using 100pc lambs wool.
Set up earlier in the year, the fledgling business has already won a regional award and last week she met Mr Cameron and presented him with a specially-made a blue cushion bearing a No 10 Downing Street design.
The young entrepreneur handed over her gift during a reception to mark the government’s New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which helped to kickstart her business dreams.
In the longer term, she hopes to expand by taking on or helping to train others.
“He (David Cameron) was very enthusiastic about the scheme and I know he was very pleased to be given the cushion,” she said.
Miss Worton set up her own company after she graduated with a design craft degree from University Campus Suffolk at Lowestoft College and went on to study a masters degree at Nottingham Trent University in fashion knitwear.
She said: “I have always loved making things from a very early age. I set up my own business as I wanted to use my education and skills and make my own way.
“It is a real challenge to set up a your own business.
“You have to be willing to give up your own time, take a big dip in your social life and really, really love what you do.”
Miss Worton used to live in Corton and attended Lothingland Middle School and Benjamin Britten High School.
She named her company after her grandfathers Edgar Robert Burden and John Frederick Worton.
She said she currently received about five orders a week and, as well as selling her handmade items online, she supplies her creations though four outlets – the Ferini Art Gallery in Pakefield, Craft Co in Southwold and stores in Bury St Edmunds and Nottingham.
Miss Worton’s entrepreneurial efforts have not only been appreciated by the prime minister. She was recently named as East Anglia’s young entrepreneur of the year at the inaugural Ixion Enterprise Awards which seek to recognise businesses that have benefited from the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
For more information on Miss Worton’s business and her products, ring her on 07403 494012 or visit www.bobandjohnknitware.co.uk