St Basils staff are hugely proud of this very enterprising young resident called Tennessee and her baby clothes business. She makes the clothes herself and sells them via her shop on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shoplunaluv
Tennessee came into St Basils in Nov 2018 after being made homeless, due to overcrowding issues. She stayed at a direct access project before settling at a supported accommodation scheme in Birmingham.
Tennessee completed a HND at South and City College in Fashion while working part time in retail 2016 – 2018. She then saved up to enter herself in the Midland Fashion Awards where she was a finalist in Oct 2018 hoping this would bring her some exposure for her work.
Tennessee came into St Basils with limited Life skills in regards to managing a tenancy so she found this a struggle at first. It’s been challenging for her suffering from social anxiety and a lack of confidence. She realised that she needed to earn money as she was feeling the financial strains of living on benefits whilst trying to finance a business career.
Her dream has always been to produce women’s and men’s clothing but she could only afford small amounts of fabric and the ones that she had available at the time were pastel so decided to start with baby clothing.
Tennessee currently sells her baby items (that look amazing!) through facebook and Instagram and she attends as many craft fairs as she is able to.
Tennessee has a great working relationship with her St Basils progression coach and the team where she is housed. She has engaged with them and is fast to grab any opportunities that will help her become more independent and to that end she has already completed her ONC accredited Life Skills programme with St Basils. Tennessee supports St Basils by speaking about her experience to those that want to support and invest in the charity.
Tennessee is currently receiving a very limited amount from her current sales as all her spare funds are allocated to developing the business. She has support from DWP of £33 a week from an enterprise allowance and St Basils have supported Tennessee to purchase a year liability insurance in order for her to continue selling at craft fairs.
Extra support we’re looking for:
But she still needs more support and we’re hoping some of our supporters may be able to help with this!
Things Tennessee needs include:
- An embroidery machine (she currently pays £1 per letter to have her items personalised)
- Part time employment in her industry for financial support
- Business mentor / coach / training
- Marketing support
- Business process support
- Driving lessons to obtain a driving licence
Business and Communities Executive Sian Dhillon who met with her recently to see if she could find a suitable Business coach for Tennessee amongst her contacts said: “I’m really impressed by Tennessee! In particular the way she articulates herself, her ambition and drive, and her commitment to improving her situation”.
Tennessee has given Sian permission to approach our supporters and make enquiries on her behalf for the support listed above.
If you can help with any of the above please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Update: Following an appeal on Facebook we have received a fantastic offer from one of our kind supporters who is an expert embroidery specialist in the UK. Can’t wait to share the good news with our talented young person. Will keep you updated! Sian Dhillon