With over 100 people making up the Andersons of Inverurie team, we want to launch a ‘Meet the Team’ series to showcase the incredible experts working here - from the staff you can spot on the shop floor, to the people working behind the scenes to keep the Andersons cogs turning.
Our new blog post series will help you get to know our team even better, giving you insights into their experience and passions, and share some of the fantastic projects they’ve worked on.
First up, we have Fern and Amber, two of our seamstresses. We popped down to our busy in-house sewing room to catch up with them both....
Tell us about the department you work in…
Fern: “On the ground floor of Andersons, we have a large sewing room where 7 of us are based. We work closely with the interior design team to create a huge range of products for our customers using beautiful fabrics - from curtains, blinds and pelmets, to reupholstered furniture and unique cushions.”
What does an average day at Andersons look like for you both?
Fern: “My main role within the sewing room is making roman blinds alongside Amber, making curtains and occasionally the odd pelmet. I feel an average day or week consists of getting through as many jobs as physically possible, all while making sure everything is finished to the highest standard possible for the client.”
Amber: “I was taught to make roman blinds at Andersons, which is what I tend to work on most days and have a real passion for. The roman blinds can measure from 1-2.5 meters in width and drop, so I am lucky to have Fern working alongside me!”
What do you love most about your job?
Fern: “What I love most about my job is seeing things progress from the very start to the finished product. For example, starting off with just a roll of fabric, and turning it into a beautiful roman blind, curtains, pelmet or cushions - it can often change the whole look of the original fabric. I also adore getting to work with such a wide range of stunning patterns, colours and textures all day.”
Amber: “Every day really is a learning day. Whether it be working with a type of material you’ve never used before, or trying a new technique requested by the designers or customers. The sewing room is a large area with plenty of light and space for everyone to work on their own
jobs. It can be a relaxed atmosphere (excluding the craziness at Christmas!) - everyone gets along well and we’re always offering to help one another out.”
Can you tell us about a project you felt particularly proud of?
Amber: “A job I recently worked on was the biggest blind I’ve ever made, measuring 3.5m wide by 2m drop. The roman blind was for a living room window and required an electric rail due to the weight of all the fabric and lining. The width of the blind made this job tricky as it was important to get the stitch lines as straight as possible. I luckily managed to do this the first time which I felt very proud of. A roman blind normally wouldn’t be recommended for a window that wide, but with guidance from the designer to the customer on fabric choices, this made the job a lot easier to put together and looked great once it was finished.”
How would you describe your interior style?
Amber: ”I tend to spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking for individual room styles and quirky ideas. I‘ve always admired the rustic, industrial style with Scandinavian materials and textures to give a warm homely feel. Natural toned wooden furniture has always been a favoured choice of mine.
“I’m vastly inspired by my mum's interior choices. She also works for Andersons, mainly measuring customer windows for curtains and blinds. I have always loved her choices in our home, which I’d describe as unique and serene. It's nice to both have such a passion for interiors and discuss styles that we like and dislike.”
Fern: “I don't actually know how I would describe my interior style. I quite like a mixture of different styles - modern with a hint of rustic, industrial elements, pops of colour and unique patterns and textures. I get most of my inspiration from Pinterest, I love it! It's full of ideas for absolutely everything!”
What led you to working at Andersons?
Amber: “Once I had finished school in 2015, I went to college for 2 years and studied Textiles for Fashion. This was my first experience of learning and using a domestic machine. I then got my first full-time job in clothing alterations. I learned lots and it helped progress my sewing, but I soon found that I had more of a love for interiors and soft furnishings.
“After a year and a half of sewing, I worked as an Interior Design Assistant in Inverurie for just over a year. I learned a lot about all the different brands of fabric books for soft furnishings which was very beneficial for starting as a seamstress at Andersons”.
Fern: “When I left school I had no idea what I wanted to do, but knew I had a love of art and design and getting creative. I applied to Aberdeen Gallowgate college where I spent 2 years doing an art and design course, and during the 2nd year one of my modules was textiles. I then realised I enjoyed experimenting with these fabrics, which pushed me to apply for a 2 year HND fashion and textiles course. This then led me to apply for the sewing room job here at Andersons.”
What skills or traits do you think are important in someone looking to embark on a similar career?
Amber: “Having any sort of sewing experience behind you would be extremely beneficial when beginning your career as a seamstress, whether it be clothing, soft furnishings or even doing small crafty projects as a hobby!
“A basic understanding of how to use a domestic machine and being able to sew straight would be a bonus and allow you to progress more smoothly onto an industrial machine. I was fortunate enough to learn the majority of my knowledge and skills on the job at Andersons, which would be the same for any new employee.”
Fern: “I think having previous knowledge of using a sewing machine would be recommended, but more importantly having a willingness to learn, which is often something you can’t teach.”
What do you think makes Andersons so popular?
Fern: “I think what makes Andersons so popular is the fact it is not an average chain store, it is a family-run local business. If you want to decorate your house, you have all the different departments under one roof, a huge range of styles and prices which appeal to different age groups and all the unique accessories, ornaments and gifts found in homewares”.
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