In the early Summer, I relocated to Clavering, Essex to set up my new studio and my husband’s workshop, Flint Fine Art.
The move has given the GS brand a fantastic opportunity to grow organically, the head space to be inspired and develop the brand, though as you can see from the photos it’s taken us many months to get the workshop in a professional state, it does help to have a cute pub garden across the road for refreshments and stone baked pizzas!
My vision for GS is to set up a sampling unit to train apprenticeships in heritage skills such as linking and milling of a knitted garment, but also to offer a prototyping and a manufacturing network solution for other knitwear designers to help them manufacture in the UK. The more brands manufacture in the UK, the greater chance we have of reinvigorating the industry!
The Essex Big Business Award kindly wrote the following about my business proposal,
“A determined woman, Genevieve is making sure she keeps her brand authentically British, showcasing the artisan skills and quality of the knitwear industry in the UK. This continues through her commitment to sustainability through production, whilst embracing the ethical practices and responsibilities of a premium British brand.
This desire to focus on everything British is the reason for Genevieve entering the Essex BIG Business Boost. After noticing the closing of countless factories throughout the country, she recognised the need to help reinvigorate the UK knitwear industry. More importantly, she has observed the number of skilled employees without jobs whose skills are becoming irrelevant, suggesting that if we as a nation do not continue to use these skills, the country will begin to lose heritage trades.
Plans have been made and Genevieve has steps for the future. With the help of a strong team who can aid in design, development and manufacturing in Clavering, a strong community within Essex will develop to work alongside other local businesses. Through setting up a sampling facility in the county, other small businesses in the UK would be advised on manufacturing to help grow and create a strong manufacturing network within the UK knitting industry. Genevieve believes she can offer businesses a great amount of knowledge and expertise with production, a strong network and innovative machines, whilst providing employment and training through the Genevieve Sweeney brand.”
I applied for the Essex Business Boost Award for the opportunity to build the sampling unit, and I am extremely proud and grateful to have won the award for Women in Business. I’ll keep you updated on our developments and the arrival of our new linker!