Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Rosa from one of our local secondary schools to complete a week of work experience. We thought you might enjoy reading about Rosa’s week, so here is her diary!
Monday – When I arrived, I felt a little nervous, but this anxiety was soon forgotten as all of the staff at Livingstone Textiles were very welcoming and this as well as being surrounded by a fantastic range of fabrics calmed my nerves and it allowed me to develop the confidence I feel now. We went through all the hazards and health and safety features of the building- it was tedious, but it had to be done. After I had served my first customers, although rather clumsily, I left the main shop and got to work with Madeline; we sorted out the eBay orders and packaged them, by reusing the packaging used in previous deliveries. When this was finished I felt quite tired, because I was not used to standing on my feet all day! Therefore, it was decided that I should do the easiest job around which is to price zips. I enjoyed this because I got to sit down, although I was warned not to get too comfortable as this is Maisie’s favourite job.
Tuesday – On Tuesday, I met Bronwen and shadowed her for most of the day. First of all, we rearranged the upholstery fabrics into the correct colour order and tidied them up by wrapping the ends with cellophane. Once again, I served more customers and improved my skills on the cash register, which scared me the day before. Afterwards I rearranged the fat quarters and started to choose fabric for Christmas bundles, although I thought it was a little early, before I was distracted by the possibility of becoming an apprentice upholsterer. Laura the upholsterer decided to reupholster a chair pad it with my help. This may have been the highlight of my week because it is a very interesting process consisting of lots of hammer bashing- it was a bit different from sewing!
Wednesday – I investigated the process of foam cutting, and I got to use the saw on a sample and it was surprisingly difficult. Bronwen and I spent the morning unpacking and pricing a vast delivery of fabric which used most of my energy for the rest of the day. After a few customer services, I finished my job of fat quarter bundle creating, in which I grouped complimenting Christmas fabrics, before tying them up with matching ribbons with the help of Maisie.
Thursday – Until then I had not completed any sewing projects, so it was decided that I should replace the staff area curtain using the chiffon house fabric. It looks very fun! I then investigated the retail element of the business by recording the items which needed to be replaced in the haberdashery. Finally, I returned to a more creative task of dressing Miss Haversham. I spent the majority of the afternoon in the corner, gathering metres of netting for her full skirt, which I pinned at the waist and draped a floral embroidered fabric on the top, that was also gathered at the neckline. To finish her off I added a dark blue netting around the skirt and used navy ribbon to define the waist and create a halter neck. This has inspired me to do more draping in the future.
Friday – In the morning, I completed Miss Haversham and photographed her at the top of the stairs. I then spent the period before lunch to refill the low stocked buttons with Maisie and find a home to all the new stock. I was impressed that I could now confidently use the till which made it easier to deal with customers as I became more efficient. Throughout the week I enjoyed helping customers choose fabric and items from the haberdashery according to their project, and liked to give advice. For the rest of the day, I reflected on my experience of the past week. There has never been a boring or idle moment because of the variety of jobs at Livingstone Textiles. I have improved and learned new skills which will better my performance in all future work. Moreover, it has been a very beneficial experience, in which I have been inspired to try new things because of the kind and talented people who work here, who like me and the customers share a similar passion for textiles.