Dedicated followers of fashion
A love of fashion can also translate into a business. CLAIRE SHOESMITH talks to five women who walked away from other careers to open their own boutiques
Sheena Lambert Threadbare and Wilde Wicklow
The move from waste management to running a high-end fashion boutique is certainly not from the textbook. However, it is one that seems to be pushing all the right buttons for Sheena Lambert, engineer and owner of Threadbare and Wilde in Wicklow.
While she wasn’t unhappy with her life in waste management – she worked in the industry for eight years – Lambert knew that what she really wanted was to have her own business, and while she did consider branching out on her own in the waste sector, it was her love of fashion that won over in the end.
“What I thought was, what would I really love to be doing every day – and having a clothes shop was high up on the list,” says Lambert, who admits to turning a few heads by wearing hot pants to engineering lectures, while studying in UCD.
“You don’t get many engineers interested in fashion,” she says.
Having made the decision to go for it, Threadbare and Wilde was born in August 2003, and it’s fair to say Lambert hasn’t looked back since.
As for skills – or lack of skills – in the area of fashion, Lambert says it hasn’t been a problem.
“I was involved in project management in engineering, and really I have just applied the same skills to the fashion industry,” she says, adding that a general awareness of the business world and love of fashion on a personal level has helped greatly.
After starting off on her own with just one assistant, Lambert now employs three people on a part-time basis and is making the most of what she always wanted – being her own boss.
And while her shop does enable her to spend more time with her son and prepare for the baby that’s on the way, it also means that it’s hard to leave work behind.
“Having your own business is a 24-7 thing,” she says.
“It’s very hard to switch off.”