Hats and scarves designed by JAshcroft
I had spent 20 years working in the corporate world, advising small and large companies. Many of my clients were entrepreneurs and I was eager to try my hand at developing a business at some point. As a busy working mum, time went on and as I talked with other mums, I had ideas but nothing seemed quite right! I didn't want to be importing goods from China and I thought that there was a lot of untapped potential in the women I knew.
One friend had an unsuccessful experience of trying to find a suitable headcovering for her mother as she went through cancer treatment, and I was dismayed when I looked at the choice then available online. After research and many months sewing and designing, I decided to launch 4myhead.com Limited in 2006. I had great support from a lovely seamstress, and continue to work with her and other British seamstresses, individually making each item! Although dressmaking and millinery has declined considerably in the UK, I enjoy finding new material, creating new designs and working with professionals to create gorgeous, comfortable and practical hats and scarves :-)
I was pleased that in the early days, I had the support of Breast Cancer Care and was included in their breast cancer and hair loss booklet. The website was then included on Cancer Research's CancerHelp UK hair loss and wigs page.
Early on, I decided I`d be supporting the cancer charities... and have worked on a number of creative ideas to raise funds and awareness. This involved pink cocktails, garden swapping parties, moonwalking, hat competition, purple gifts, social media and more! In total, over £5,000 has now been raised for cancer charities from initiating, participating or sponsoring these events!
2011, saw a new website - www.jashcroft.co.uk, making it easier to showcase new products and for clients to search through the vast selection of styles and colours.
I am particularly proud of the Teenage Cancer Trust hat competition! Working with Beaconsfield High School, the students in Year 7 (including one of my children), designed a hat for teenagers with cancer. I`ve taken the winning designs and with my wonderful seamstresses, we now have a range of designs for teenagers which are sold in aid of the TCT. I recently visited the new TCT Unit for teenagers and young adults at the Royal Marsden in Surrey and was amazed and impressed with the facilities developed.
As we enter 2012, I`m looking forward to further collaborations with charities and in developing further products to help those going through cancer treatment. I`m also looking at how to help those who are recovering and want to move forward with healthy lifestyles.
There has been sadness, as my family and friends have also lost loved ones to cancer, but this has only made me want to help further. In addition to having met great clients and worked with wonderful charities, I am also proud that my children are able to see what effort is required to run a business and how rewarding it can be to help others. If you would like further information, please visit our new site www.jashcroft.co.uk.