A TALENTED Sutton designer is looking forward to the year ahead after launching her own fashion label.
Karen Marsh (32) has just started her own online store Rose Handmade Clothing, which sells clothes, homewear products, accessories and menswear.
She also offers a made-to-order service for customers who want something unique.
Former Sutton Centre student Karen said: “It’s been a dream of mine. I’ve always been into clothes - I don’t follow fashion but I like to find something different and unique.”
Two years ago, Karen started a course at the Textile Workshop in Nottingham, which is part of New College Nottingham (NCN).
She says: “I just started making basic cushion covers and make-up bags and then I did a dressmaking course.
“It was such a time-consuming thing to construct one garment that I had to question myself, ‘is this for me?’”
But Karen continued to pursue her interest and set her sights on starting her own company.
“I have always wanted to set up my own business,” she says.
“I have always been looking for that one thing that would make me happy. I’ve worked in retail, in offices, in a canteen.
“I would like to have my own boutique. It’s something to aim for.”
In addition to setting up the website, Karen has also been selling her products at craft fayres in Nottingham and has also been to Greenwich market in London where she has received positive feedback for her work.
She said: “You realise you are on the right track and that people do like your stuff.
“The market manager loves my stuff and says I am welcome to come back.”
Karen, who sources interesting and unusual fabrics, typically spends eight hours making one dress - and prides herself on producing good quality garments.
“I take care and attention from start to finish,” she says.
Now Karen has big plans for 2012 which include a charity fashion show, a vintage range and collaborating with model Cherry LaRoux.
She said: “We are going to be collaborating on a photo shoot and creating a new range.
“I want to do a charity fashion show and collaborate with other local designers.
“I need to get a new range of dresses together and a vintage section on the website.”
For more details on Karen’s work or to place an order visit www.rosehandmade.co.uk.