Many small businesses in Salford that rely on markets to sell merchandise have had to adapt to the ever-changing climate of COVID-19 lockdown.
Designer, Holly Ramsay, 23 said lockdown has affected her business but she manages to stay creative and motivated through changing times.
Ramsay from Monton, owns the homeware and décor shop ‘the Neighbourhood Threat’, which is based in Islington Mill, Salford.
‘The Neighbourhood Threat’, which is described on the website as having ‘the funkiest home décor’, was founded when Ramsay was in college.
She would scavenge around charity shops and sell the treasures she found on the clothes app ‘Depop’. Once she started selling clothes regularly, she started to gain a following.
Ramsay was inspired to name her business ‘the Neighbourhood Threat’ after listening to Iggy Pop’s song by the same name.
In the song, he sings ‘Everybody always wants to kiss my trash’.
She thought it was a suitable name as initially in her journey she was selling people’s old clothes that they probably saw as trash – but she and other people saw them as treasures.
Ramsay, the Huddersfield University graduate said: “I just did it all the way through uni as my job.
“When I left uni last year I had a degree in costume so I thought I better start using that so then I started making homewares.
“I started doing makers markets last August with clothes, but they weren’t very good, then I bought a load of old tea towels, you know like holiday ones.
“Then I made them into cushions, and people just seem to buy more of them. So, I just started growing that way and then started doing my own pattern designs and printing them.”
Once the first lockdown started it initially impacted her business
“I couldn’t do any markets, that’s where I made all the money.”
However, she stayed motivated and once she took her products online, business started to pick up.
Ramsay said: “I got my weekends back because I’m not doing markets, so I use that time to try and develop new designs and products, I received a grant off the Prince’s Trust.
“So once I got that it let me buy new bits of equipment.”
The Salford designer said she needed the equipment to speed up the making process and so she could make new products herself in her studio.
Ramsay said: “I’ve been able to buy industrial sewing machines and a new printer so I can print mugs and coasters and it just kind of adds to your range really and I was able to get more customers.
“I design each pattern digitally and mess about with colours until I find a perfect combo. Then I either print it onto a mug/ coaster myself or send it off to be printed on fabric.”
Despite the lockdown, Ramsay managed to stay motivated and resilient throughout, she shared her tips with us below:
Holly Ramsay hopes to get ‘the Neighbourhood Threat’ stocked in more shops in the UK and her end goal is to have her own physical shop one day.
To find out more about Holly and her work, you can visit her website: