Tweed firm looms in on success

Susanne Hume with her Northumbrian Tweed furnishings. Picture: Kimberley Powell
Susanne Hume with her Northumbrian Tweed furnishings. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Susanne Hume is the mastermind behind the new up-and-coming business: The 
Northumbrian Tweed Company.

Susanne, 27, lives in Etal with her husband and two-year-old son, and is hoping to move into a new house with bigger studio space to work.

The Tweed Company was set up only last January due to the high demand Susanne received for some of her designs and products.

“I started to make cushions and bits and pieces after I fell pregnant,” Susanne said.

“The cushions sold so well over the Christmas, I knew I had to make something from this.

“I set up the Facebook page and within the first week it had 3,000 likes which was unbelievable!

Susanne explained how the business evolved. She said: “I studied textiles at GCSE level but never really had an interest after that. I was into horses and I was quite sporty, but when I fell pregnant over two years ago now, I was dealing with aromatherapy oils for horses and I couldn’t use them while I was pregnant.

“So I wanted to do something that kept me going, and I thought right, we’ll make some nursery furniture like patchwork blankets for my little boy’s room.”

Susanne then developed her hobby until people started to show an interest in purchasing the products.

She first set up a small business named ‘Susie Bee’ which Susanne described as ‘an expensive hobby’. She said: “I was making patchwork quilts from baby clothes, I knew it wasn’t going anywhere.

But last October she broke her knee, which led to issues with sewing, such as using the foot pedal.

She said: “I just started doing bits and pieces, selling at the craft fair and that led to the tweed.

Susanne bought two sewing machines which were accompanied with tutorials and she said a lot of her designs were crafted through trial and error.

Her business went viral online.

She emphasised: “I had to turn my phone off for a week! People were contacting me from Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Canada all because they had seen friends liking the page.

Susanne now ships her stock internationally with stockists at Wooler, Paxton, Bamburgh, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

“I didn’t initially ship internationally but because I had so many customers who found the page it was a no brainer.

She stocks products such as draught excluders, lampshades, kitchenware, brooches and head warmers and is in the process of developing some cuff links.

When she moves house, Susanne is hoping to set up her living room so that people can come and see her produce displayed in a more homely setting.

She said: “I want to make people have a different experience rather than just going to the Metro Centre or a shop.”

Susanne is also looking to employ someone to help with her now busy schedule.

“I’m in negotiations to develop a Northumbrian tweed”.

“We have just held some market research to find out what it is people want.

“People have come back saying they would love to have the colours of the flag”.

“So I’m looking at golds and reds, but then also greens to keep it a very traditional tweed.”

To see a collection of her products you can visit her website at: thenorthum