Hobby to business: Replica Marilyn Monroe prints are bestsellers for teachers

Two Teesside teachers turned a hobby into a business – and now sell worldwide.

Gill Mollard and Dawn Hazel formed the Vintage Sewing Pattern company in 2015. But it was not until 2020, during the pandemic, that they saw an increase in sales and invested in an industrial-sized printer.

The Ingleby Barwick and Middlesbrough based company reproduces and sells rare sewing patterns from the 1920s up until the 1970s, with some of their bestsellers being replica Marilyn Monroe prints and a men’s frock coat. The sewing patterns can then be bought and shipped to the customer, or they can be instantly printed out at home.

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Over the years their business has expanded from Etsy and eBay to Amazon, to which Dawn credits her brother David Henry, the business’s analyst. She said: “We got my brother on board just over two years ago after our dad died, I think he wanted something to focus on.”

“He’s our mathematical analyst and since he’s been with us we have really progressed. Now we’re on Amazon, Etsy, eBay and we have our own website.”

Gill and Dawn have also introduced new sewing patterns on their website and social media in time to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. The pair have also decided to donate all their profits to the Cash for Kids charity.

“What we have been doing as well is gowns and patterns to celebrate the Jubilee,” Dawn said. “We have Carla Hattie from Lancashire, who has appeared on the BBC, doing a blog for us and she has made a dress from our patterns that look similar, or nearly the same, like that of the Queens.”

Gill Mollard and Dawn Hazel

With over 11,000 followers on Instagram, The Vintage Sewing Pattern company has begun to create an internet presence where it is now selling its patterns worldwide.

To visit the Vintage Sewing Pattern company’s website click the link here. To donate to Cash for Kids click the link here.


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