Hi there, my name’s Sarah Stone and I run Sarah’s Fleeces. We make clothes out of fleece with our star product being the Thermal Tops.
The ingenious idea behind this range is to add a super warm layer underneath your normal clothes in whatever circumstances you need it. I came across the idea last November on a yahoo group that I subscribe to called ‘Frugal Genius’. I was sitting at my PC in the middle of winter wanting to turn the heating up but instead sticking an extra jumper on to save the money on our fuel bill. I made my first sleeveless thermal top for myself and it worked fabulously! I could have the heating set at 16 (61) degrees and other than my thermal top only need a long sleeved t-shirt on top to be perfectly warm. That was it I was hooked, I knew I was on to something big! My children then wanted one and wore them to school. They soon found that they were too hot for at school where they have the heating turned right up. The teachers didn’t seem to want to accept that they were warm enough in a short sleeved t-shirt when it was zero outside!
Once my children’s friends had seen their tops they began to want them too, so I had mums on the school gate coming up to me saying “is it you that’s making these things out of fleece?” and so it took off. By Christmas I’d got about 30 on order!
I soon added many other products to my repertoire – hats, mittens, scarves, jumpers, t-shirts, pyjamas, all in ones and socks.
I still found that my hands would get quite chilly though despite my body being really toasty, so I then had a flash of inspiration which lead to a whole new range of products, my Joint Warmers. I based my idea on the fact that if you’re too hot you can help cool yourself down by running the inside of your wrists under cold water, this works because the blood runs fairly close to the surface of the skin, so effectively you’re cooling your blood as it’s being pumped around your body. So I thought if it works for cooling you down then surely the same thing must work for keeping you warm. I made a pair of Wrist Warmers and bingo they worked like a dream! So these are ideal for people who get cold hands but find fingerless gloves too restrictive. Having realised how warm these kept my wrists I soon came up with Knee and Elbow Warmers. These can help those who suffer with the cold due to arthritis in these joints.
Having got a decent range ready for my new website I add new products less regularly now as I’ve got ideas coming out of my ears nearly. Everyone I talk to, it seems, has another idea of what I could make, who might like them or where I could sell them, so I’m having to learn how to prioritise my time very quickly and how to delegate the production of my products.
I have people all ready to make my fleeces for me when I reach the point where there are too many for me to make on my own. These people are mums who want to work self employed from home so that they can be flexible around their home life. As I’m frugal by nature it feels really good that fleece is partially made from recycled plastic water bottles and hence the whole company ethos reflects this underlying theme, incorporating my moral values, of promoting the local economy, putting good back into the local community, family values and being eco-friendly.
I hope you’ve found this interesting and that it’s inspired you to keep on finding new ways to save money!