I am a writer, educator and self-taught interior stylist and I live in London. I am married and have three daughters and a son. I have an honours degree in Creative & Professional Writing and Journalism Studies. I specialise in creative non-fiction and research work and have published work in this field.
I am equally passionate about textiles, crafts and up-cycling. Having grown up with parents working in the garment textiles industry during the Eastend rag trade, I naturally took an interest in sewing and crafts and have honed my skill set in both textiles and crafts over a number of years. I have produced commissioned textile work and I also teach. I have been involved in arts consultancy and community funded projects.
I am keen to sustain East London’s craftmanship and sewing skills by teaching participants to learn a new skill or hobby and open up opportunities for them to progress into further qualification and work. My classes bring together grassroots creative practice with local organisations, businesses as well as with independent artists and designers.
My late-mother, Anwara Begum has and continues to be my pivotal inspiration in all my work. My mother was creative, thrifty and had high work ethics. She embodied strength and resilience despite the difficulties she faced on a daily basis. Even after having open heart surgery in her 30's and later chronic illness, my mother continued to work and sew on the sewing machine into her late 60s. As a child I grew up seeing my mother sew dexterously for hours on end to contribute to the family income while raising my siblings and I. During her spare time she would make the most beautiful creations out of remnant fabric be it home furnishings or a item of clothing. I often watched in awe attentively but I could never match her level of perfection and professionalism because she was so thorough at sewing. Alas, I still aspire to emulate her work and value the knowledge she has imparted to me. She was indeed such an inspirational soul and I hope to continue her legacy by sharing the same skills she shared with me with my workshop participants.
Photograph taken in Wheler House, off Brick Lane in the 1980s.
The industrial sewing machine captured in the photograph has since been donated to the Museum of London in the summer of 2021 by Asma and her family.
I featured in a BBC4 Documentary called “A Very British History: British Bangladeshis” which sheds light on the hidden story of Bangladeshi women who worked from home in the East End. I was grateful to be able to share my late-mother’s story and include some very touching home life photos of my mother sitting on her prized and loved sewing machine.
This documentary meant so much to me on many levels.
A subject close to my heart as my late mother used to sew from home as wage-earner and sewing hobbyist whilst raising my siblings and I.
This book tells the untold stories of Bangladeshi seamstresses in London’s East End (1970 - 2000)
So honoured to receive the civic award for Outstanding Service to the Community in February 2022. Was a lovely surprise to me nominated by Felicity Scott / Aaron O' Dowling- Keane- The Trampery/Poplar Works.