At BTC, we take immense pride in nurturing talent and watching our students evolve into remarkable success stories. One such shining example is Jennifer Horsey, whose journey from crafting her first pair of shoes to becoming a Sustainability Coordinator and Clicker at John Lobb bespoke shoemakers in London.
Jennifer’s story with us began when she attended one of our open evenings, carrying a pair of shoes she had skilfully made herself. Little did she know that this was the first step in a journey that would lead to a rewarding career in the world of leather and footwear craftsmanship.
Her initial apprenticeship at Mulberry, specialising in Level 2 Apparel Footwear Leather or Textile Production, laid the foundation for her future success. Jennifer’s dedication and aptitude quickly became evident, propelling her towards greater opportunities.
Her next stop was James Taylor and Sons in Weston-Super-Mare, a bespoke shoemaker known for its exceptional craftsmanship. Here, Jennifer completed her Level 3 Diplomas in Apparel, Footwear, and Leather Production, as well as her Level 3 Certificate in Footwear and Leather. This experience allowed her to develop not only her stitching skills but also gain expertise in pattern cutting, both by hand and using CAD, lasting, and various other steps in crafting bespoke shoes.
Having completed her apprenticeship at James Taylor & Sons in 2019, Jennifer was ready for a new challenge, one that leaned slightly more towards academia. Jennifer’s tutors at the College encouraged her to apply to the University of Northampton, where she pursued a degree in Leather Technology and later graduated with First Class Honours, setting the stage for her future endeavours.
Jennifer’s journey then led her to Pittards, a renowned leather goods manufacturer and tannery in Yeovil. Here, she took on a management role and managed a variety of projects. During her time at Pittards, she discovered a particular interest in sustainability within the leather industry, hinting at the path she would follow.
In 2023, Jennifer took another bold step by joining John Lobb, the prestigious bespoke shoemakers in London, as a Clicker (cutter) and Sustainability Coordinator. Her role at John Lobb is a testament to the versatility of her skills. From the meticulous craft of cutting leather for each pair of shoes to the sustainability side of her job, Jennifer thrives in the world of craftsmanship and sustainability.
Jennifer herself acknowledges the role Bridgwater & Taunton College played in her journey, saying,
Without the college supporting me throughout my apprenticeships, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have been challenged and stretched in the best possible ways, and I’m excited to find out where this role and my experience will take me next!
Jennifer Horsey’s journey from crafting her first pair of shoes at an open evening to her current role at John Lobb is a testament to her determination and the opportunities provided by Bridgwater & Taunton College. Her story is an inspiration to all aspiring artisans and showcases the potential for success that can be achieved through dedication and the right educational support. We’re proud to have played a part in Jennifer’s journey and wish her the very best with her career in craftsmanship and sustainability.
Photo Credit- Hadley Butler
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