I have high functioning autism, as well as a bunch of invisible illnesses, and have somehow managed to navigate the neurotypical world to build a business that I can be proud of. My mission is to ensure that other people, regardless of disability or ability, skin colour, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or religion feel that they can be a part of what we offer in terms of community, products and employment here.
Numerous charitable works have been done and will continue to be done, to benefit charities that mean the most to my staff and me. We aim to be a business with purpose and exercise responsibility in the industry.
In the period January 2018 to June 2020, we have directly raised and facilitated raising £76,000 for charities including MIND, Citizens Advice Bureau, Women's Aid, Winston's Wish, amongst others.
Our Accessibility Statement for the website can be found here.
Coming from a background of poverty and abuse, I have found myself in the privileged position of being able to give back, a position I strive never to take for granted. It is my aim that my staff are able to afford to buy the products that we make and sell and we are accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
From 1st April 2019, a percentage of our sales at www.countessablaze.com and in-store will be used as microloans on Kiva. Kiva is a worldwide project specialising in microfinancing small businesses and individuals who are locked out of accessing business aid from mainstream banks and organisations. Microfinancing gives people an opportunity to begin businesses, or grow them and a number are textiles based. Textiles based loans will be our major interest but we'll also lend to others. You can find our Kiva page here.
Not all people with hidden disabilities require assistance. But if you do, wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard discreetly indicates that you need additional support or just a little more time.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard has been purposefully designed to acts as a discreet sign that the wearer has a hidden disability and requires additional assistance. It has become the established symbol for hidden disabilities in the UK and has been successfully introduced to several major UK airports, supermarkets, railway stations and sports venues.
You can collect a lanyard, wristband or badge from us, free of charge.
BIPOC in Fiber - a website dedicated to making the fibre industry as diverse as the community it serves, of which we proudly back as a business.
"If everyone who'd complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we'd still be open"
The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to support, value and buy from artists, designers, independent shops and small businesses by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even 'just a card' are so vital to their prosperity and survival.
The campaign came about when Artist & Designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote "If everyone who'd complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we'd still be open" by store keepers who'd recently closed their gallery. This prompted a call to action! Designer/Makers, independent shops, galleries and small businesses need a voice. People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open. Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised. Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.
Our team attend regular courses on first aid training and mental health awareness to keep the dye studio safe.