Ambitious 11-year-old sets up her own business

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 December 2018

Anya at her work station, making a personalised cushion using her sewing machine. Picture: Roanna Grannum

Anya at her work station, making a personalised cushion using her sewing machine. Picture: Roanna Grannum


An entrepreneurial 11-year-old from Newham has set up her own business.

Anya selling one of her festive cushions at a craft fair. Picture: Roanna GrannumAnya selling one of her festive cushions at a craft fair. Picture: Roanna Grannum

Anya Alexandra, who lived in Forest Gate before her family moved to Brixton, has started selling bespoke cushions in a bid to top up her pocket money.

The former Portway Primary pupil set up her company, Cushions by Anya Alexandra, less than two months ago, and has since been hitting craft fairs to sell her wares.

“She has always been interested in fashion,” mum Roanna Grannum said.

“She’s designed clothes herself and I think her passion for that inspired her to enter into other things like cushions. She’s very creative.”

Encouraged along by her mum, Anya has been attending events and trade fairs to increase publicity of her items.

She sells cushions which she makes on her sewing machine, and then personalises by hand using lace, lettering, ribbons and sequins.

The ambitious pupil has been making between five and 10 cushions a week, in between her homework.

“Even in the evenings when she’s got school work to do, she manages to find time to make them,” Roanna said.

“She even goes to after school clubs still. She’s very much a child and I do encourage her to focus on that, but it’s something she really enjoys.”

“I’ve always been interested in sewing and fashion since I was young and now I’m in secondary school, I thought I could see how people would like my designs,” Anya added.

Roanna said she’s not sure where she gets her flair for sewing from, as she never learned to use a sewing machine. She taught Anya how to sew by hand, and a family friend helped Anya learn on a machine. Anya received her first sewing machine when she was nine.

“I have a schedule so when I come home from school, I do my homework and then I start to sew,” she said.

“The hardest thing is this schedule and fitting it in with school.”

Despite the busy routine, Anya is still managing to turn a profit, and has a special range out for Christmas.

To see Anya’s work and order a cushion, visit her website,

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