SHE has changed career from hairdresser to seamstress to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother.

Alison Struthers has joined the fashion and textiles team at Dumfries House after owning a hairdressing salon.

But her passion for sewing was prompted by her gran who worked in the prestigious Daly's department store during its Sauchiehall Street heyday.

The 50-year-old said: “My gran was a seamstress at Daly’s department store on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow many years ago.

"When I was young, she taught me to sew and I just fell in love with making things."

Alison has joined The Prince’s Foundation’s Future Textiles programme, becoming part of a team of tutors teaching traditional textiles skills such as sewing and cutting to school pupils and adults interested in carving out a career in the industry.

Alison owned a hairdressing salon for a number of years before deciding on a career change as she had already developed a high skill level in sewing and was keen to pursue formal study in the subject area.

She completed her HND in Fashion Technology at Glasgow Clyde College in 2016 and then mentored others setting up successful businesses in the fashion industry, becoming a key support in manufacturing high end sample garments for emerging designers.

Jacqueline Farrell, education director for The Prince's Foundation at Dumfries House was attracted by Alison’s attention to detail, with Alison admitting she is “renowned for being pernickety”.

Alison joins the The Prince’s Foundation as its Future Textiles initiative celebrates its five-year anniversary.

The programme aims to inspire school pupils and teachers from across Scotland to embrace traditional skills such as weaving, sewing and cutting in a bid to help address a skills gap in the UK’s fashion and textiles industry.

Future Textiles has already benefited more than 5000 young people and has attracted praise and ongoing support from industry leaders including Marks and Spencer, Tammy and Christopher Kane, Paul Smith, John Lewis Partnership and Burberry.

Alison added: "I’m feeling excited and inspired by this role and I am honoured to get to work alongside such a talented and dedicated team.

"The opportunities that pupils and trainees get through the Future Textiles programme are incredible and I can’t wait to see the, progress, grow and succeed."

Education initiatives at Dumfries House form a key element of the vision of HRH The Prince of Wales who saved the house for the nation in 2007.

The 2000-acre estate is now used to help people engage in learning experiences that promote confidence and personal development as well as offer training in real-life skills to open up future employment opportunities.

Last year, 8000 children and young people benefited from education programmes at Dumfries House.

Jaqueline said: "I am delighted that Alison has joined our Future Textiles team.

"She brings real-world experience of running her own successful business which is really useful for preparing students for their future careers.

"Above all else she is a lovely, approachable person who is able to build an excellent rapport with the students she teaches and will be an asset to the team."

The Prince’s Foundation, formed last year as a result of the consolidation of Dumfries House Trust and other charities, is headquarters at Dumfries House.

From modest beginnings, Dumfries House is now one of the largest employers in East Ayrshire with more than 250 full-time and part-time staff across the house, estate and education and training programmes.

For more information on our training and education programmes, contact