I never thought I would leave London, even a year before we did. Berlin, New York maybe, but never Holmfirth, yet here I am. So why am I telling you this? Because my journey is my story. My story is the story of The Smockworks.
When I moved out of London I felt I could breathe and it was a catalyst for taking a different direction. I’d spent 17 years in London and loved nearly every minute of it, with my top highlight being on the founding team of The Fashion & Textile Museum working with visionary Zandra Rhodes. A winding career took me into PR for a fast fashion brand, a trend agency which was then at the early stages. I was never out of a job and jobs were always plentiful.
I knew moving up North would be different but boy did I underestimate the job market. I felt highly skilled but out of place. Definitely a square peg round hole scenario. So I read Who Moved my Cheese, grabbed a sharpie and wrote on two post-its:
1. New beliefs encourage new behaviours.
2. There is always new cheese. Enjoy the adventure.
Did these post-its change my life? No. But it made me change my thinking. The past was the past. Thank you London for all you offered me but now I have chosen to take a different path. I didn’t realise then how interconnected everything would be.
The Smockworks truly did grow out of my love of the smock dress. One in particular that I wore to death. I love the volume style, easy dressing – nothing to worry about. But I often felt a bit girly and I was getting to the stage where I needed to be a grown up. Whatever this really means. Another passion of mine is denim. Real denim, not the stretchy type that dominates so much of the women’s market, but proper quality denim. This part of my journey took me to Japan and you can read more about the Japanese denim we use here. I also became intrigued by the intricacy and beauty of smocking. Not the type you see on baby clothes but beautiful lattice and honeycombe smocking. I started to hand smock 10oz and 12oz raw denim, which I reluctantly had to admit was too heavy but it was definitely a fusion moment.
Smocks + denim + smocking = The Smockworks. Simply Working Dresses. This was the beginning and I am still at the beginning, but I am enjoying the adventure.