Lancaster lass turns 'making T-shirts for friends during lockdown' into successful business

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This week’s Love Local column comes from Rachael Hamilton-Southward of The Northern Dye House which is set to celebrate its fourth birthday. Here’s what Rachael had to say...

“Hi, I’m Rachael, owner and creator of The Northern Dye House. We’re just about to celebrate our fourth birthday as a business and I can’t believe how far we’ve come in that time.

"I would never have thought that making T-shirts for friends during the first lockdown would have led to me sat in my own shop four years later. Its been a whirlwind to be honest.

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"Our first market was at Kanteena in Lancaster where I sold all the T-shirts I’d made – I couldn’t believe it. We then moved onto the Charter Market and had an amazing time meeting new people.

Rachael Hamilton-Southward of The Northern Dye House in Lancaster.Rachael Hamilton-Southward of The Northern Dye House in Lancaster.
Rachael Hamilton-Southward of The Northern Dye House in Lancaster.

"Over the next 12 months we began trading at events and festivals all over the North and Midlands, and the business was growing by the day, as was our reputation for quality and uniqueness. It’s been an amazing time.

“I’ve been looking for business premises for the past couple of years so that we can have our house back – it’s been interesting trying to run the business from my lounge and kitchen.

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"I still do all my dyeing at home in the garden workshop and kitchen – it’s where it all started – but now all my stock is in our new store, NDH, on Gage Street in Lancaster. I’m a Lancaster lass through and through so there wasn’t even a question of where I’d open my first shop.

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“The store is an eclectic mix of my hand dyed clothing and 90s inspired accessories and jewellery. Not forgetting our little 90s troll mascots. Everything in the store is geared to making people feel good, from our awesome hand dyed clothing including tie dye Nike socks, essential oil sprays, Happy Scrub Loofa Soaps, 80s and 90s band T-shirts, and our awesome selection of lava lamps and bucket hats – there’s something for everyone and every budget.

“I also offer a custom dye service, whether that’s creating something bespoke for you or re-dyeing your old, worn garments. We’ve also branched out into merchandising and printing, so if it’s something really unique you’re after then pop in and see me for a chat.”

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