Market grader – Gabrielle sets out her stall for title
YOUNG entrepreneur Gabrielle Martin-goff is preparing for the finals of a national competition after wowing judges with her business aptitude.
Gabrielle, 21, started her own market stall selling baby and toddler clothes she makes herself when she was just 16, despite having no formal training.
A full-time nursery worker at Tree Tops Day Nursery in Cheltenham, she hated sewing at school and dropped it as an activity as soon as she could.
She said: “When my great gran Betty died I inherited her big industrial 1960s sewing machine and decided to try to make a few clothes on it.
“I was due a baby sister at the time so I made a few outfits for her and before I knew it I had more than anyone really needed.
“And I found I was really enjoying coming up with the designs. I taught myself how to put the garments together.”
Gabrielle started selling at market stalls at the weekends and has gone on to create reusable, eco-friendly make
up wipes, sanitary pads and women’s underwear.
She won her category at the regional rounds of the Young Market Trader of the Year and is now through to the finals which will be held in Stratford-upon-avon on August 30-31. A former pupil of Thomas Keble School in Eastcombe says Gabrielle has sold her creations at The Shambles in Stroud, the Merry walks Centre and at Stroud Goodwill.
“I am usually at a big market every weekend and I am trying to sell more through social media,” says Gabrielle.
She says that one day she would like the business to expand to allow her to work at it full-time. “But for the moment I love my nursery work and this is a nice thing to do on the side,” she says. “Ideally one day it would be good to shift the balance so that I am concentrating more on my business and doing nursery work part-time.” During the two days of free trading at the competition in Stratford-upon-avon, judges will be doing the rounds and making a shortlist for the four categories and there is £500 up for grabs for the winner.
Theodore Wynn, with parents Tom and Elyn, from Cheltenham, meeting Severn Vale Deanery’s sheep
Gloucester Cathedral has been taken over by decorated sheep as part of The Good Shepherd Project, each decorated by Church of England primary schools in the diocese Pictures: Andrew Higgins Thousand Word Media