Who are you?

April Hay, the creator and designer behind Textiles by April.

What does your business do?

I design textiles inspired by Scottish Geology, drawn from photographs I’ve taken around the country. I then manufacture these into a wide range of products from scarves to purses. My fabric is ethically printed in the UK using and I have a 0 waste policy when It comes to the manufacture stage – any scraps get made into hair scrunchies and pin cushions. I also have a made to order fashion line, which was recently found by Gok Wan’s team and was showcased at his Fashion Brunch in Glasgow. Gok himself named me as a new textile talent to look out for which was an incredible, overwhelming feeling.

Where are you based? I recently moved to Glasgow after building the foundation of my business in Aberdeen.

How did you get started?

I graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2016 from the Fashion and Textile course and accidentally ended up starting Textiles by April.

What is your background?

I have an honours degree in Textiles for Fashion after specialising in digital print for my final year. During the course I taught myself how to design digitally as well as pattern cut, manufacture and manipulate photographs. Alongside my textile work I work at John Lewis as a Fashion Merchandising partner and previously worked in the Haberdashery department. Both let me bring some creativity to my day job and I use all my experience as a designer to aid my responsibilities.

What is your top tip?

Invest your time and effort into social media from the very beginning. It is SO important to have a consistent and engaging presence online as this is where most of your potential customers will find out about you. Especially if you are a designer it’s a great way to show photographs of your designs and get people excited with previews, behind the scenes and sneak peeks at new work. It never fails to amaze me how many people have visited me at markets and exhibits after seeing my posts online, it’s an honour!

How long has your business been running?

I began trading late 2016 but mainly to family and friends, I’d say I became established in 2017.

What was your first deal?

My first major event was being scouted by Collect Scotland to be part of their textile design collective. Me and a group of incredibly talented commercial textile designers created a collection which was shown at Premiere Vision in Paris at the beginning of 2017. We also held an exhibition at The Lighthouse, Glasgow after the show which was a huge success and saw me gain a lot of positive reactions online.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

I’d love to take on more stockists and build on the success I’ve had over the past year. I’m hoping to travel to Iceland in the next few years and get inspired for a new body of work. If I can get complimented by Gok Wan in less than 12 months - it’s so exciting to think what I could do with five years!

Useful contacts e.g. business emails, websites etc - entrepreneurial spark/Chamber of Commerce etc. My online store is www.etsy.com/shop/textilesbyapril where you can browse my accessories. For any enquiries regarding my fashion line, or general questions my email is textilesbyapril@gmail.com. I’m very active on social media and my blog which you can find on www.textilesbyapril.com www.instagram.com/textilesbyapril and www.facebook.com/textilesbyapril