On Your Doorstep: A Brand New Doorstop

New from old: environmental business


Sarah Louise Baulch at work

Sarah Louise Baulch at work

Re Vamp cushions, doorstops and fabrics

Re Vamp cushions, doorstops and fabrics

One of the Re Vamp bags

A bag by Re Vamp

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Meet your neighbours and taste local food

Bulbs planted at St Mary's

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To wheelie or not to wheelie

Finally newspaper skips have been emptied

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Sarah Louise Baulch has been inspired by taking part in the Market Training Seminars offered by Action Acton.

An Acton resident, she has taken advantage of the courses available and these have kick-started her business. She will be showing her unusual, covetable range of products this Sunday on The Mount as part of the Natural Health Day.

Sarah's degree was in painting, printmaking and textiles. She started producing hand painted ceramics and paintings. (To see her work click on the link to her website, in box right). She also produced textiles and after making a patchwork quilt of her samples she was inspired to make things out of recycled fabric.

Sarah then used her old clothes and started making cushion covers out of blue jeans. These sold well at Portobello Market and the fledgling business, Re Vamp, was extended again at the beginning of this year. She then heard about the courses at Action Acton and attended one on Market Training and another on Small Business Training. She is currently discussing obtaining grants to help her to work with other local businesses.

She told me what she thought of Action Acton: "They are a great group of people with lots of good ideas. I have been really encouraged by them and they kick-started my business - Re Vamp. I started the courses 6 weeks ago and now I'm applying for a grant to work across several different local businesses."

The idea behind Re Vamp is to recycle unwanted clothing into textiles for the home. The textiles make unique, beautiful and environmentally friendly cushions, peg bags, patchwork quilts, shopping bags and doorstops from vintage or contemporary second-hand fabrics.

Sarah says that she didn't have the confidence to work alone before. "Action Acton really supported me and they give me advice all the time. Everyone there, particularly Glenda Shawley has been positive and inspiring. They are a good springboard for any business starting in Acton."

Her plan is to keep her business as sustainable and ethically aware as possible. She plans to work with other groups in Acton.

The courses have also led her to other creative ideas: "Action Acton told me about London Remade (specialising in all things green in London) and I have been selected to take part in the Enviro-Entrepreneur Summer School funded by London Remade in July.

Sarah will make things on commission out of old fabrics (one idea is to use a customer's own fabrics to make a timeless 'memory' quilt) and has started to make things out of fabric supplied by the Vintage Home Store on Churchfield Road who currently have some of her cushions in stock. This is a fantastic way to recycle clothes and is definitely a low-carbon but highly attractive option.

I thought her bags and doorstops were particularly well-made, unusual and very reasonably priced. I predict there won't be many left at the end of trading on Sunday.

Clare Gittins

June 29, 2007