Lauretta - the bespoke fashion store in Skelmersdale
00:00 12 January 2017
Laurita Siauniene came to Lancashire from Lithuania looking for a better life, but never imagined owning a flourishing fashion firm. Rebekka O’Grady reports.
From many happy years spent learning how to make clothes with her grandmother in Lithuania, Laurita Siauniene never imagined that one day she would own her own bespoke clothing business. Certainly not in Lancashire.
‘It’s always been a part of my life to make clothes; making my own and those that my children wore. However I still can’t believe that I now do it for a living!’
The single mum left her home in Lithuania to try to make a better life for her family in the UK back in 2005. She joined her sister in London, working night and day in a bar in the hope of earning enough money to bring her two children, who are now aged 21 and 18, over to live with her.
After a number of challenges, the dressmaker ended up moving to Liverpool. Working for minimum wage as a cleaner and waitressing finally enabled Laurita to clear her debts and send for her children. Throughout her struggles, one thing always remained constant – her love of making clothes.
Her dress-making skills and eye for design had become local news and it wasn’t long before she was asked to work with the now famous gypsy wedding dress-maker, Thelma Madine.
‘Working with Thelma was great and always interesting,’ explained Laurita. ‘We would work with 1000m of fabric on some dresses! However after five years, travelling became difficult with the children so I eventually decided to set up my own business. I started from home and it was hard work, but I wanted to let people know who and what I was.’
Since the beginning of 2010, her little empire has blossomed and as well as opening her own shop, Lauretta, in Skelmersdale – where she specialises in bespoke special occasion couture and classic outfits – Laurita has also set up another two businesses.
As well as running an online kaftan and swimwear store, Flamingo Kaftan Emporium, her top-quality workmanship and committed work ethic has resulted in her latest venture, CMTP (Cut Make Trim Press), where major designers such as Philip Armstrong, Topshop, Lola Loves and Laura Ashley use Laurita for outsourcing work. Items she has worked on with Liverpool fashion designer house Philip Armstrong have even been worn by numerous celebrities including Liz McClarnon and Tess Daly.
‘I still sit back and can’t believe that I am now self-employed with three businesses,’ smiled Laurita. ‘Throughout all the hard times I just had to keep telling myself to go forward and stick to it. I would tell myself that one day you will get there if you want it. Too many times I would put my hands down and say I don’t want to carry on, but something always made me come back and start again.’ w