13 Oct 2020
Ruth Miller, owner of Vintage Vaults, turned her passion into a business after attending St Helens Chamber’s Be Your Own Boss event. After being made redundant, Ruth’s interest in fabrics and vintage clothing was sparked by a dressmaking course, and she never looked back.
Ruth explained: “I was made redundant from my job in the council and I ended up going on a dressmaking course. This course really peaked my interest and led me to start to collect materials and sewing supplies.
“A friend heard about my collection and told me to go to a Vintage Fair with all the supplies I had collected, and this is where the idea for Vintage Vaults first came about.”
Once Ruth had the idea for her business, she began to look for a way to make this into a reality.
“I saw the Start up support at St Helens Chamber online and so I went along to the Be Your Own Boss event. The event gave me a chance to find out more about the support which I could access to start my business.
“I wasn’t sure how I could start up after being made redundant, but the information I found at the event spurred me on and they told me about the New Enterprise Allowance funding which I could get as I was on Universal Credit. This funding gave me a backup, rather than me just going it alone.”
Using this funding, Ruth was able to set up Vintage Vaults and her business is going from strength to strength.
Ruth explained: “I deal in vintage haberdashery as a specialty, I have several units within shops, sell online and travel to vintage fairs. I started doing fairs in St Helens but now I’ve moved to the Wirral so I attend fairs here too.
“It was difficult doing business through COVID, but I have found that now business is picking back up again and there’s lots of customers locally who are looking for my services; so I’m looking forward to what the future brings for my business.”
The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.
If you are unemployed and thinking of starting a business, you can access further information by contacting Starting Point on 01744 698800.