Beth Wilson thought she needed to be in London to follow her dream.
However, it turned out that success was waiting for her much closer to home than she realised.
Middlesbrough-born Beth quit the Capital during lockdown to pursue her goal of being a successful embroidery designer and business owner.
Fast forward just over three years, and the business she launched from a garden shed in 2018– Beth Wilson Embroidery – is blooming, amid feverish demand for her highly-Instagrammable and customisable designs.
And after expanding her business, she’s desperate to show the world that you don’t need to move to London to succeed.
“You are sold the London dream, and always told that is where you need to be for fashion or design related careers – but success is about the person, not the place” said the 29-year-old.
“I was living the ‘London dream’ but I just wasn’t happy. I’m a homebird at heart and I love Teesside, and that’s where my heart was.
“Ever since I moved home the business has grown rapidly.
“It shows that London really isn’t the world, and that while people think that there are not as many opportunities to make it up here, I just want my story to give people hope that there are – and the North East can be your oyster if you are willing to give it your all.”
Having graduated from the prestigious London College of Fashion, Beth received her first job at the London Embroidery Studio only to quicky tire of the London life.
So in August 2020 – at the height of the covid pandemic – she moved back to her family home in Easterside, taking up a flexible job with a housing association that allowed her to pursue her passion for embroidery.
However, Beth pursued, throwing everything she had into her business whilst working a flexible job with a housing association. Then, in 2020, at the height of the Covid pandemic, Beth moved back to her family home in Easterside when she knew her passion, and business, could thrive anywhere.
It didn’t take long for that passion to morph into a booming business, as Beth’s stunning bespoke designs quickly caught the eyes of thousands stuck at home during lockdown.
“Everyone suddenly found themselves killing time on Instagram, and that was a game-changer for the business,” added Beth.
“On top of that, once lockdown was lifted, there was suddenly even more demand as everyone was rushing to get married. One of my popular and unique designs is the embroidered bridal denim jacket and demand just hit the roof.”
Her brand’s quirky, punk aesthetic has attracted over 8,000 Instagram followers while celebs such as Love Island host Laura Whitmore have worn her colourful designs.
It also landed her work inside Rock & Roll Bride magazine, while Beth was nominated for a Junior Design Award. Most recently Beth received a bespoke order from a Cheerleader from American Football team, Kansas City Chiefs, to wear to the 2024 Super Bowl, one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world.
Beth also takes her business national and has worked with prestigious department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods, providing “pop-up” embroidery events.
This last Christmas saw Beth bring these events closer to home, appearing at Manchester’s French Connection store, where Beth offered embroidery on clothing and small goods.
That success has not only allowed the business to grow, but to also help Beth fulfil another career goal – to help train others in the North East.
Extra demand recently resulted in Beth opening a second office inside Stockton’s Digital House, one of Teesside’s leading creative hubs, while the success of the business has enabled her to buy a second machine in order to ramp-up production for orders flying in from across the UK and globally.
There are plans afoot to potentially expand her product line and branch into homeware and interiors, having only just launched her first embroidered wall art earlier this month.
And she’s now searching for an apprentice to take under her wing.
Working with the employment hub, the aim is to find someone with the same passion and drive as Beth to help them forge their own career – and to keep proving that there’s plenty of talent ready to be unearthed outside of London.