Shop Local: Hampstead graduates defy Covid-19 to set up fashion brands during the lockdowns

Anoushka Rabin, founder of Thread Wear, surrounded by denim. Picture: Anoushka Rabin

Anoushka Rabin, founder of Thread Wear, surrounded by denim. Picture: Anoushka Rabin - Credit: Archant

Faced with an uninspiring job market, two Hampstead graduates have set up their own clothing businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Anna Morrissey turned a passion for embroidering and fashion into her business Tummy Ache. Picture: Anna Morrissey/Tummy Ache

Anna Morrissey turned a passion for embroidering and fashion into her business Tummy Ache. Picture: Anna Morrissey/Tummy Ache - Credit: Archant

Anna Morrissey, 22, and Anoushka Rabin, 23, have each defied the lockdowns to launch business ventures during 2020.

Former Jewish Free School pupil Anoushka entered the first lockdown in March about to start a new job – but the disruption this year meant she only started this recently – and in the interim, she got stuck into becoming an fashion entrepreneur.

She bulk bought vintage Levi jeans and started her business, Thread Wear, on instagram (@threadwearuk).

READ MORE: The Ham&High’s Shop Local campaignAnoushka, who had completed a degree in international media at the University of Nottingham, can tailor the jeans for customers, or sew individual patches onto each pair. She even brings pairs to customer’s homes, to measure them and have fittings.

“I love, love doing this. It’s really rewarding,” she told the Ham&High.

“I can see how [the jeans] fit and I can also see like the evolution of trying them on the first time. They’ll send me a picture when they’ve been tailored, and they’ll fit so differently.”

Meanwhile Anna’s business journey started when she would embroider t-shirts for family and friends during her time at university. Now, she’s made her passion project into a business called Tummy Ache (@tummyacheuk).

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Anna said: “I kind of thought, in this the job market I’m not going to be able to get anything. I could see all my friends trying and not really getting anywhere.

“So I thought, well, this is a perfect opportunity to invest in myself a bit more and see where this can take me – I thought, there’s no time like now.”

Anna sees her new brand as a creative outlet as well as a business, and she added its name had a particular childhood resonance.

“The name is because ‘I have a tummy ache’ was the slogan of my childhood – because I was so anxious,” she said.

“I feel my designs are very evocative of how I’m feeling, they’re kind of like visual diary entries.”

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