Sean Dobbins fashion designer in Kent endured unemployment for over a year and confidence had hit rock bottom. Find out how The Kent Foundation and the Talent Match South East project helped him develop the skills and confidence he desperately needed to start a business.
Sean Dobbins Fashion Designer, aged 23, from Kent, has turned his life around and started his own women’s clothing brand.
After finishing his degree, Sean struggled to find employment. He had been unemployed for over a year when he came across the Talent Match Outreach Team at a Chatham Jobs Fair in September 2014. Sean was split between the need to earn a wage and his career goal of becoming a fashion designer. This was coupled with nervousness surrounding potential challenges presented by self-employment and setting up alone.
With support from Talent Match South East, Sean was able to overcome these nerves. He secured valuable work experience at a number of fashion houses in London (including Amanda Kelly and Emilio de la Morena). However in a sector where so many young people volunteer their time for free, a paid role in fashion proved hard to obtain. Sean realised that a longer-term approach would be needed and began applying for vacancies outside of fashion.
After a lot of dedication and persistence, in July 2015 Sean successfully gained full-time employment at Tesco as a Personal Shopper. Sean has recently reached the six month sustainment success milestone but his story is only just beginning.
The wage and confidence that full-time work brought has allowed Sean to pursue his dreams of designing and creating clothes. Sean can do this at his own pace, having established his brand, S Dobbins, last year.
“Talent Match has helped me to explore my full potential and has given me the confidence to thrive within the fashion industry and explore new and exciting ideas to help create my label.”
He is making plans for the year, including pricing, ecommerce and marketing. Talent Match South East and The Kent Foundation will continue to support Sean in his career progression. With a number of local events scheduled to display his creations and media features scheduled this year, Talent Match will be a proud observer as his talents continue to flourish.