A local businesswoman is bouncing back after her company lost almost 90% of its business in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Susan Hawes from South Shields had built a thriving business, Susan Hawes Design, specialising in the design of wall coverings and home furnishing fabrics. With nearly all of her customers in the USA, the New York tragedy resulted in an economic slump that forced her to close her studio and start trading from home.
Keeping the home furnishing as the core part of her business, Susan has decided to refocus her talents by using her design skills to launch a range of sophisticated ladies lingerie.
To help promote her new brand 'Brogan' which is a family name, Susan has been awarded a promotional grant from South Tyneside Council's Economic Development Team to help her with advertising and marketing material to get the new name around.
Using her natural talent Susan designs all the items herself and uses a local manufacturer to produce the items which can be bought via the internet at www.broganlingerie.com.
Susan said: "Underwear should be a luxury that makes you feel good but at an affordable price. What I found was I couldn't quite find what I was looking for and I know this is the case for most women."
"There is definitely a gap for quality mid-market lingerie so I decided to solve the problem and design my own range. It's a little bit different as all the garments are made out of lace with pearls and beads, so they can be worn as underwear or the more daring can wear them as evening wear."
"The home furnishings is starting to pick up but as you can imagine the US market is still very quiet. I think it will take a while before we see a difference there but we are still focusing on the UK. At the moment I'll be putting all my time and effort into this new venture to make sure it's a success."
Susan is currently working on some new designs to add to her collection and she expects to begin full production by the spring.
Councillor Eddie McAtominey, Lead Member for Corporate Development added: "Susan is a very talented and creative lady and the Council is happy to assist her in getting her marketing campaign off the ground."