By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on July 17, 2020
WHILE COVID-19 has negatively affected many businesses across the state, Albany woman Erica Cooper has taken advantage of the unique opportunity and turned it into a thriving business.
Ms Cooper was stood down from her job at Skill Hire Albany at the end of March, giving her the push to begin using her passions to make some money.
The lifelong textile artist started by making some curtains for friends and family, eventually taking the dive to launch her latest endeavour, The Stitching Studio.
Ms Cooper now completes alterations out of her home and has begun hosting a variety of sewing classes for the public at the Beryl Grant Community Centre.
“Having a business like this is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I was on a good income and didn’t want to take the risk,” she said.
“But I suddenly woke up one morning and thought I’d just go for it.
“I was in a situation where I was lucky enough to access $10,000 out of my superannuation, so I made sure that I’d cleared car payments and everything so I knew I could survive on minimum wages if I had to.”
Ms Cooper said the response she’s received since making the commitment has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve got classes already booked out to the end of August so far, there’s definitely a need for these kinds of classes in Albany,” she said.
“I knew it would be popular but the amount of people wanting to attend the classes is absolutely phenomenal.
“A lot of people can only see the negatives of COVID-19, but for me it’s only positives that
have come out of it. “This would have been my 16th week off, and it gave me time to evaluate what I wanted out of life as well having that break. “I just decided to take that chance and go for it.”
As for the future of Ms Cooper’s young business, she only sees it getting bigger from here.
“My goal in the long run, by hopefully next year, is to open a shop with a studio where I can also teach my classes,” she said.
One of Ms Cooper’s August classes focuses on skirt block drafting.