By day- planning, writing and organising obsessive, by night (and weekend)- embroiderer extraordinaire! I am a graduate of the Royal School of Needlework and for the last twelve years I have been running my own business 'Jessica Aldred Bespoke Needlework,' alongside my day jobs. I teach embroidery, carry out commissions and give talks and presentations. Having recently relocated from Dubai to West Yorkshire I am currently looking for work. I have experience of education coordination, creative management, scheduling, administration, events planning, marketing and content writing.
Since 2004 I have been working freelance, either exclusively or alongside employment. I take on private commissions (new pieces and textile restoration/ conservation), design, develop and teach classes and workshops, write for publications and give talks and presentations. Commissions include a stitched wall hanging depicting the brand guidelines and powerful message behind the work of Fine Cell Work, a charity which teaches needlework to prison inmates. I was commissioned by The Partners, the design agency behind Fine Cell Work’s identity. The project won marketing and design awards internationally. After having worked as a volunteer tutor for Fine Cell Work for three years I produced a stitch manual for them. I created all of the designs, samples, photographs and copy. The manual has ensured continuity in the learning processes of inmates as well as providing them with individual records of achievement. It has been positively received by the FCW board of trustees along with volunteers and inmates across 29 UK prisons. Other commissions include restoration and conservation of antique textiles, embroidery production for the A/W 2015/16 collection for Dubai based fashion company House of Hashe and embroidery design and sampling for a member of the UAE royal family. In 2011 I co-wrote a book- ‘Adventures in Needlework’- which was published by the Guild of Master Craftsman Publications (GMC) and continues to be sold internationally. I have taught widely across the UK, USA and UAE.
I was responsible for visual merchandising, line managing the teaching team, overseeing the development of classes, teacher training and mentoring, scheduling and marketing to include web editing, social media campaigns and the production of class brochures. I also lead the planning and delivery of exhibitions and events as well as designing, developing and teaching embroidery classes to adults and children.
I managed all aspects of day class administration; processing bookings, handling telephone and email enquiries and complaints, scheduling, ordering and controlling stock, liaising with tutors on course content, setting up classrooms, collecting and analysing class sales and attendance data and producing and implementing improvement reports. During my time as Education Coordinator class sales increased by 90%. I coordinated the Certificate & Diploma (professional) courses in the USA. I was part of the validation team for the RSN's BA (Hons) in Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors and Textile Art to include proof reading all validation documents and went on to become the Student Support Officer. I was also responsible for recruiting and training volunteers and organising and delivering tours of the RSN's studios. When large commissions came in to the studio I was asked to carry out additional work. Most notably I was a member of the team who embroidered the wedding dress and veil for the Duchess of Cambridge. I also demonstrated embroidery to HRH Her Majesty the Queen.
I worked on all productions for both ballet and opera. I ordered, maintained and controlled stock, and worked closely with the costume designers and supervisors to advise them on what materials best suited their needs and those of the show. I also carried out restoration work to damaged costumes.
Therapeutic counselling, ethical/moral values, social, cultural and health and safety issues relating to counselling, basic counselling skills practice.
The principles of teaching and learning and the importance of the teaching and learning cycle for planning training sessions.
The first two years of my apprenticeship were spent learning over 30 hand embroidery techniques. During that time I was required to design, buy all relevant materials and carry out my own work to very strict deadlines. My third and final year was spent working in the school’s commercial studios. I learnt how to carry out textile restoration and conservation and the business side of working as an embroiderer. I taught a number of classes at the Royal School of Needlework and the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey.