SEW POPULAR: Cassie Howes is the seamstress behind Lorraine and Blair.
SEW POPULAR: Cassie Howes is the seamstress behind Lorraine and Blair. Hannah Sbeghen

How a Kirkwood mum is sewing a fashion empire in her garage

KIRKWOOD mum Cassie Howes is sewing a handmade fashion empire from the comfort of her home garage.

And it's working.

What originally began as a creative escape for the 36-year-old has quickly evolved into a fully fledged fashion business drawing enormous popularity even from Brisbane buyers and interstate boutiques.

The seamstress behind Lorraine and Blair said she has gone from buying 10 metres of fabric to a whopping 150 metres in as little as three years.

Scarves, bags, bridal robes, pillow cases and even cotton boxers - Mrs Howes sews it all.

With fabrics stacked high in piles and spools of thread hanging from the walls of her converted garage studio, Mrs Howes said while she has support from family and friends, her business was a one-woman show.

"A lot of people are blown away that I hand sew all the stock on my own," the mother-of-four said.

"They also call me crazy."

Two months ago Mrs Howes packed her car and took her designs to Brisbane to sell at Australia's leading design market - Finders Keepers, an invite only market for stallholders.

Mrs Howes said her vision to start up a luxury gift and accessory shop was coming to fruition quicker than she ever imagined.

"It's a real journey and a real privilege to do something I love every day," she said.

"Before I had my kids I was an Australian squash player and I travelled the world playing squash but I always had an itch for creating things.

"I started making things for myself and my friends until I was encouraged to actually sell my stuff."

Mrs Howes said her designs and fabrics were adored for their originality.

"I found a graphic designer and somehow she pulled my ideas from my head and put them on fabric," she said.



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