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Victoria Bowman – Threads of Devon

With a long career background in the NHS and the private healthcare sector, providing care for patients with a variety of illnesses, Victoria Bowman found that she could no longer manage the physical demands of her profession.  The onset of arthritis and other joint problems led Victoria to consider doing something completely different.

Victoria started to focus on her talent for making hand-made children’s clothes, but quickly found out she was reliant on other businesses for producing the embroidery work she required on the garments, and she wanted to be able to do it herself!

“I didn’t intend to start an embroidery service as a business.  I hit a snag with finding good quality labels for my hand-made children’s clothes, and after finding an embroidered alternative through outsourcing, decided that with the right machinery I could do it better myself. “

Victoria came to Outset Torbay in October 2010 and has been working with the team to successfully launch ‘Threads of Devon’.

“I’ve never been self-employed before; in fact the whole idea was incredibly daunting.  I found the Outset Torbay programme very practical and it’s been great to exchange ideas and experiences with others in the same boat as me. The advisors have given me lots of advice and support which I’ve needed – and best of all I could meet them in Brixham at a time which was convenient for me”

“Since going through the Outset Torbay programme I feel that I now have the confidence to move forward with a viable business. I still enjoy making children’s clothes but ‘Threads of Devon’ provides a greater overall business opportunity for me, plus I enjoy the more technical aspects in setting up the machines and the graphic design process.”

Victoria’s business now supplies a wide range of services including workwear, branding, personalisation and gifts, and she has quickly started fulfilling orders.

“First Brixham and then the world! It’s great to know that I have the Outset Torbay advisors on-hand for 18 months to support and advise me as ‘Threads of Devon’ develops”

Outset Torbay has been funded by the ERDF Competitiveness and Employment programme, South West Regional Development Agency and Torbay Development Agency which invests in activities that will have a long-term impact on the growth and development of the local economy.

For more information on Threads of Devon contact Victoria Bowman on 01803 857526 or email enquiries@threadsofdevon.co.uk