A St Peter’s woven textile designer will be showing her skills on an episode of BBC One’s Make It at Market series.
Jessica Clements creates handwoven fashion items and accessories for the home and launched her brand Jess Anne at the end of 2019.
The 26-year-old, who graduated from UCA Farnham in 2017, said ending up on the show was “a fluke.”
The former Charles Dickens student said: “I’m part of lots of facebook groups for weaving from all over the world.
“Some posted about a production company looking for people but I had no idea it was for a BBC One programme, I thought it would be for an amateur programme or for YouTube.
“At the time I was trying to push my self-confidence so I emailed. Then they asked for some photos of my work and then I had an interview on Zoom. They would ring every now and then, saying I was through to the next round and finally I got the call to say I had been selected.”
The series is filmed at the Arts and Crafts house in Leicestershire and challenges aspiring amateur craftspeople to see if they have the skills to make profitable businesses from their garden shed hobbies.
The makers are teamed with an expert mentor to provide practical making tips and straight talking advice.
Each amateur tackles three challenges designed to assess their skill and money-making potential. The high-volume challenge tests if the makers can produce saleable items quickly and cheaply; the high-end challenge explores their potential to sell at the top-end of the market and the favourite piece challenge reminds the makers what they love about the craft in the first place.
Then it’s out into the real world to start selling their creations and see if they can turn enough profit to swap the day job for a life-changing business.
The show host is Dom Chinea, best known for his master metal work in the RTS Award-winning, BBC One show, The Repair Shop.
Jessica, whose love of craft began as a child seeing her nan sew and her mum knit, says it has been an experience she will “never forget.”
She said: “It was fantastic, I met so many cool people that all have unique talents.
“It was hard work because we had to do things in a short amount of time and work whilst filming which was very interesting.
“When you meet me in person I’m confident and bubbly but when the cameras were rolling I literally forgot how to talk!”
Jessica discovered her love for weaving when she was at university. She said: “I think there was something about the tradition that grabbed me. It is one of the oldest traditions, even the Egyptians weaved.
“I like making clothes from scratch and it goes with what I believe in, it’s sustainable not factory work or cheap labour, just good and wholesome.
“At the end of 2019 I started my brand Jess Anne, offering handwoven accessories for the home and for fashion, mainly using lambswool. However, I’m starting to branch out to different yarns. My designs usually focus on bright colours and my first collection was inspired by the Broadstairs ‘vibe.’”
Jessica is currently using her old bedroom at her parents’ home to work in but hopes to find some studio space and plans to gradually expand her works with home furnishings.
The aim is to eventually expand to larger interiors with more fabrics and upholstery.
See Jessica on Make It at Market on Thursday, January 19, BBC One, at 4.30pm.
Episodes are every week day with next week the last of the series. Shows are also available on BBC iPlayer.
Website: Jess Anne
Now this IS impressive! I’ve watched people weave before, and I’m totally in awe of them.
Great to see a real Charles Dickens local hit the headlines – well done Jessica
Fantastic products. Fantastic program. Hope you gain something experience wise from your mentor. I shall be watching.
Good luck to you. All the best.