Millie is a Mighty Girl. At 22, she runs her own business and has known exactly what she wants from her career since she was a young teenager. Millie is a professional seamstress living in Clayhanger, and has a growing reputation for producing bespoke garments to an exacting high quality.
Millie has a shop sign in the window of her work room ‘Tailor made by Millie’. I feel a little shudder of excitement as I knock the front door to her home. I dabble with making clothes on the sewing machine myself, so I am enthralled to met someone who is actually talented at it.
Millie is smiley and friendly. She has an air of neatness and precision about her which is very reassuring. We go into her workroom, which is equally as neat and tidy.
Millie has been living in Clayhanger since she was as young child, moving from Pelsall. Attending St Francis School, Millie studied textiles at GCSE and knew very early on that she wanted to sew. For her final GCSE project, she produced a wedding dress (a wedding dress! Wow! No half measures there!)
Continuing her passion for couture, Millie studied textiles at Walsall College and gained the accolade of ‘student of the year’ at only 16 years old. Her project, based on Miss Haversham from Dickens’ Great Expectations, stands proudly on the tailors dummy alongside a beautiful little black dress which Millie made for herself.
After finishing college, Millie became head seamstress at a Bridal shop, practising her craft until she decided that she wanted to study further and gained a place at De Montfort University in Leicester. Unfortunately, University did not offer Millie the opportunities she was seeking so she left after a year to set herself up in business “I really wanted to do Bridal work,” she explains “I really enjoyed University and the course was good, but there wasn’t enough Bridal for me. I knew that’s what I really wanted to do.”
Millie became involved a scheme set up by the Prince’s Trust to assist young entrepeneurs. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Millie. Prince’s Trust have given Millie advice and support in setting up her own business, not in the least offering start-up loans so that Millie can purchase the latest machines on which to craft her creations.
Just a few weeks ago, Millie attended a celebration fayre organised by the Prince’s Trust, at which she met the Birmingham-born female artist and ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, Jamelia. “She was lovely and gave me some great advice,” explains Millie.
A garment made by Mille begins on paper. When she is making a bride’s dress, she and the bride will discuss ideas and Millie sketches designs. The designs themselves are works of art.
A dress made by Millie really is special.
Millie not only makes Bridal Gowns, she makes dresses for all occasions and undertakes alterations as well “I make dresses for the mother-of-the-bride, bridesmaids dresses, dresses for flower girls – all sorts!” she says. With the summer approaching, Millie’s order book for Prom Dresses is almost full.
As well as creating and making bespoke garments, Millie is offering sewing lessons to all ages and abilities. Maybe she could make a seamstress of me too!
Millie’s long-term aim is to have her own shop and line of Bridal Dresses. I have no doubt that this Girl Who Can will achieve both of those things and much more. It has been a pleasure and a delight to meet Millie and her easy nature makes her very pleasant company. She has rare talent and the ability to make ideas and dreams a reality.
Millie has a website and is contactable on Facebook and Twitter.