Graduate lace-maker selected for Small Business Saturday

Louise West, lace-maker and University of Derby graduate "Small Business Saturday is a fantastic initiative that looks to raise support nationally for small businesses." Laura Williams, Incubation Manager, University of Derby

Date posted: 21 October 2014

Local lace-maker and University of Derby graduate, Louise West has been selected to be featured as part of the Small Business Saturday promotion, 'Small Biz 100'.

Small Business Saturday is a grass-root campaign that supports, inspires and promotes small business and encourages people to support small businesses in their communities.

Louise, who studied the MA in Art and Design at Derby, will receive the promotion of her lace-making and fine silver jewellery business this Sunday (26 October). Over the course of the day, her business will be showcased across social media, with a profile and promotional video of her work being released nationally.

Having graduated from the University of Derby, Louise is now based at Bank's Mill Studios, Bridge Street, where she runs her lace-making business, teaching and designing handmade bobbin lace, and using the design to produce fine silver jewellery.

Louise's roots for lacemaking go back to the 19th century when her great-great-great grandmother was a lace-maker in Northamptonshire, and it is from this historical influence that much of her contemporary design work has emerged.

Talking about her business, Louise said: "I have always felt a very strong connection with the traditional Bedfordshire lace, and want to capture the spirit of it, whilst still seeing how far the boundaries can be pushed to develop into 21st century design.

"Lacemaking basics are easy to learn and almost anyone can benefit from this quiet, reflective and creative craft, with many students finding it therapeutic.

"While lace is the main focus of my working practice, it has taken on many formats and continues to inspire and develop in many ways, some of which are unexpected. The jewellery design is a much more permanent and lasting vision of the historical textile, recounting memories and forms contemporary wearable art of the future."

Laura Williams, Incubation Manager at the University added: "We're delighted that Louise's business has been chosen for the Small Business Saturday promotion. This fantastic initiative looks to raise support nationally for small businesses and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on Louise's business. We support a range of small businesses in their development, recognising the important role they play in driving forward the British economy."

Louise was chosen to be one of the 'Small Biz 100' businesses who are each given a day of promotion in run-up to Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday 6 December 2014.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, please visit and for further information about the workshops Louise runs, go to

For further press information please contact Adam Mallaby, University of Derby, PR Officer, on 01332 592289 or email: