By Mary Jane Baxter
“Gosh that dress looks amazing!” I’m zipping myself into one of Lucy Isaiah’s stunning bespoke creations at the pop up she’s running at Made in Greenwich. The dress is fashioned from beautiful African fabric, manipulated by Lucy to make the most of the striking design and the female body.
Lucy is CEO of LuHoc Creative Hands, based in Thames-Side Studios in Greenwich. She not only creates contemporary African and English wear for women and children, but also runs a range of community sewing and tapestry clubs. That’s all alongside her day job – working as a teacher. Lucy is one busy lady! Lucy is also the powerhouse behind Black Female Entrepreneur Greenwich which has taken the borough by storm.
“I started with a dream but very little in the way of financial support,” says Lucy. “I really wanted to make the most of my creativity, but I also had to work a ‘day job’ to bring a proper income into the family. I’m full of ideas and dreams and soon met other women, who like me, were struggling to fulfil their creative potential. I realised that we would be stronger together and so I came up with the idea of a not-for-profit organisation to provide support to other would-be entrepreneurs who are trying to get going. Black Female Entrepreneur Greenwich exists to help women who have ideas and talent but have not really been given the opportunity or platform to showcase their work. Now I offer mentoring, inspirational talks and networking opportunities to our members and we also put on events to raise our profile. I feel passionate about helping people find a channel for their creativity.”
Supported by Greenwich Council, in October Black Female Entrepreneur Greenwich put on a successful pop-up at Made in Greenwich. The shop was alive with vibrant colour, artisanal beauty products and African food tasters all designed to showcase the best female talent in the area. The pop-up was so well-received that there are plans afoot for Made in Greenwich to host a regular monthly pop-up.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our members to have experience of selling in a high profile environment,” says Lucy. “The shop window is right opposite Cutty Sark DLR, and we’ve loved engaging with a whole range of new customers, enticed in by our vibrant shop window. It’s been a great experience – a selling opportunity and a cultural exchange rolled into one. We really hope we can make a regular appearance at Made in Greenwich.”