The women’s isolation side hustle has been a huge success thanks to the impressive ‘in the homes of people all over England’ with household items

A dancer who turned her curfew job into a nationwide textile business after attracting the attention of a stylish person with over a million followers now earns £12,000 a month.

Becca Thurston, 25, from Battersea, southwest London, works as a visual expert at a home goods store and started her own business as a side project during the pandemic.

“I initially wanted to design my own pillows for our house because I couldn’t find what I was looking for,” said Becca, who lives with her 27-year-old partner, Harry, who works on a property.

Becca Thurston started her job in November 2019 (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca Thurston started her job in November 2019 (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “But I liked it and I decided to start a little side work on making cushion designs.

“From a young age I have always had a passion for textiles, interior design and design products. I remember watching my grandmother make everything from scratch and be inspired by her creativity.”

The idea to design a pillow for Becca’s house first appeared in the summer of 2019.

Becca designed her own pillows for her home (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca designed her own pillows for her home (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I was working as a hotel receptionist after I had been training for a long time and struggling to get a career in the dance world that I had dreamed of.

“I studied at the University of Chichester and graduated with Honors in Dance in 2018, but I started interior design tests in the summer of 2019.

“We had just moved into our first home and I have always had an interest in interiors and style, so the first challenge was to design and make all the cushions for our home.”

Becca takes pictures of her pillows (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca takes pictures of her pillows (Collect/PA Real Life)

He added: “I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the market, so I thought I’d try making it myself and really enjoyed it.

“I thought, ‘I love doing this, I’ll go for it’.”

In November 2019, just four months before the first Covid lockdown, Becca started her own business from home.

Becca is also passionate about giving back through her work and donates £1 to charity with every order (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca is also passionate about giving back through her work and donates £1 to charity with every order (Collect/PA Real Life)

He said: “I thought I might tap into this interest to balance my mood and see if it would help my bank balance at the same time.

“Not long after designing and making cushions from my family’s dining table, I acquired the brand name and took a step forward and founded Sewn (formally Barbed B).

“I knew I wanted to create a company that felt truly British and sold a variety of homewares that focused on soft furnishings and highlighting my love of stripes.”

Becca started designing cushions when she moved into her first home with her partner Harry (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca started designing cushions when she moved into her first home with her partner Harry (Collect/PA Real Life)

“At first I was designing and selling pillows and my clients were mostly friends and family, but over time more and more people started to notice.”

But her business quickly grew overnight after she was spotted by stylish Lydia Millen.

“In May 2020, Lydia Millen found my Instagram account,” Becca said.

Becca initially ran the business by herself before hiring a team of tailors (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca initially ran the business by herself before hiring a team of tailors (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw you follow me on Instagram and within an hour Ayla bought four of our pillows.

“Then I saw her social media post and was shocked. I sat down and thought ‘everything should be’. I was very grateful for his support.

“A few hours after posting on his social channels, I had thousands of orders and pounds in the bank. I was so relieved that I could finally take care of myself.”

Influential Lydia Millen spotted on Becca's Instagram in May 2020 (Collect/PA Real Life)

Influential Lydia Millen spotted on Becca’s Instagram in May 2020 (Collect/PA Real Life)

With sales booming, Becca needed to hire staff.

“Since everyone is stuck at home due to quarantine, I think a lot of people are online and want to buy things to beautify their home environment, this has worked really well for me,” he said.

“It’s been too much for me to handle alone, so I now have a team of tailors to assist with the request.

Becca ran the business from her home during the curfew (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca ran the business from her home during the curfew (Collect/PA Real Life)

“I am truly passionate about advocating for British craftsmen and women and always use British fabrics and suppliers where possible.

“I look back now and I can’t believe I made £30,000 in the first few months and the orders and cash injection really got me on the right track and fast.”

With her online shop selling cushions, table linens, tea towels, household goods and seasonal items, Becca’s business now reaches £12,000 a month.

With sales booming, Becca needed to hire staff (Collect/PA Real Life)

With sales booming, Becca needed to hire staff (Collect/PA Real Life)

The 25-year-old dreams of opening a physical store in west London and hopes to be able to focus on her job full time.

He said: “It’s still a side job as I’m still working as a visual professional, but I hope this can be my full-time focus in the future.”

Becca is also passionate about giving back through her work.

Becca's business Sewn now earns £12,000 per month (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca’s business Sewn now earns £12,000 per month (Collect/PA Real Life)

He said: “From every order, £1 is donated to a charity called Furnishing Futures, supporting women fleeing domestic abuse and helping furnish their homes.

“I also have a zero waste policy, so any leftover scraps are repurposed throughout the year for other collectibles or items like decorative pumpkins and other items.”

Now Becca is excited for the future.

Becca says she was inspired by her grandmother's creativity at an early age (Collect/PA Real Life)

Becca says she was inspired by her grandmother’s creativity at an early age (Collect/PA Real Life)

He said: “My family and friends have all been really supportive but I think they were surprised to see how the business was really progressing. It started out as just a side hustle in quarantine and now my products are in people’s homes all over the UK.

“This wasn’t my first career choice and it wasn’t my original plan, but I have to say it all came together smoothly. I can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring for me and my side businesses.”

For the Sewn website, visit: www.sewn-london.com

And for Becca’s Instagram account, visit: www.instagram.com/sewnlondon_

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