Fulfilling a dream to open her own illustration-based quilting studio, Deborah is now looking to expand her enterprise by increasing her products and taking on staff.
With support from The Prince’s Trust, Deborah’s business Dastardly Line, is built around experimenting with longarm technology, with Deborah designing her own products as well as introducing the technique to new people by encouraging machine rental.
The studio, based in Glasgow, aims to develop sustainable ways of using cashmere manufacturing surplus by creating hand woven quilts, scarves, and throws.
Studying Fine Art: Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art, Deborah’s last year was disrupted due to the devastating fire.
Although she was sure she wanted to open up her own studio, she moved to New Zealand for a year where she lived in a van to focus on drawing and reading before working as a cobbler to improve her sewing skills.
Upon returning to Scotland, she decided that it was the right time to set up on her own and after finding a location she launched Dastardly Line.
She said: “The Art School fire was devastating to so many and for us students we were worried that it would also have a negative impact on our careers. The Art School and the Scottish Government donated some money to allow affected graduates to pick themselves back up again and that’s when the concept for Dastardly Line was born. I loved using the longarm quilting machine and from then on in I was constantly sketching and coming up with ideas for it.
“When I left New Zealand, I had a vision of what I wanted to do which involved coming up with ways to solve the problem Scotland has with textile manufacturing waste. Combining these concepts has been a success for us and we’re building up a customer base as well as brand awareness.”
Deborah completed The Prince’s Trust Enterprise course which she found extremely useful and she is still benefitting from having a mentor. She was also so keen to support other young people in similar situations to herself that she became a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador.
Deborah now wants to grow her studio, develop a larger range of ethical products made from factory surplus, continue to experiment with her own designs, take on a member of staff and encourage creativity amongst her customers.
“Also, The Prince’s Trust understood that at the beginning not everything goes smoothly and I felt they had more time to give me which meant I was in a better place to solve any issues or face another challenge. The follow ups from The Trust have also been lovely – it still feels like I can go for help, that they will remember who I am and not judge or question why I need some more support.”