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All the best: we talk to textile designer Jude Cassidy

We ask local celebrities what are their most favourite things

Published 14/12/2015

Exciting time: Jude Cassidy made cushions for the Merchant Hotel
Exciting time: Jude Cassidy made cushions for the Merchant Hotel

The 30-year-old textile designer just launched her second selection of luxury cushions for the Merchant Hotel in Belfast and has completed her first project for Christian Dior. She lives in Lisburn with partner, Mark Johnston.

My best moment

It was getting my very first commission, which was to create 80 cushions for the Merchant Hotel in 2009. It was so exciting for my first ever job to be providing all of the cushions for a five-star hotel.

My best song

It’s Because You Love Me by Celine Dion. I know it can be a naff song, but it reminds me of my mother. She died from cancer 10 years ago, but we used to sing it to each other. Whenever I’ve had a few glasses of wine and go to karaoke, that’s my set song to sing.

My best way to relax

With my friends. I love having a barbecue and a house full of laughter.

My best bit of advice

Keep quiet. Sometimes it’s better to say nothing and I can chat all the time. I came into business through the Prince’s Trust and one of their business advisers told me that saying nothing can be very effective as a negotiating tool. I’ve discovered that it works in so many different situations and it makes you appear more confident than someone who is trying to fill an awkward silence.

My best job

My best job has to be working for myself. After art college, I spent time working in Paris, Thailand and London, but now I get to work with clients who have unlimited budgets for yachts and hotels, so I can create the most amazing and luxurious fabric.

My best gift

I was given a Christian Dior saddlebag for my 21st birthday by my parents and it’s become a really treasured piece, not least because it’s the last present my mum ever gave me. I still carry it. It is one of only three handbags that I own. Mum always said you don’t need loads of things, just really good things.

My best achievement

It’s a toss up between having grown the business enough that I now have two members of staff and having just finished a project for Christian Dior. We created fabric for the new flagship store in China that will cover 60 metres of wall. It’s being installed this month and if it gets approval, then it will be rolled out in more Christian Dior stores across the world.

My best buy

My loom. I bought it off the internet when I started the business in 2009. It cost £2,500 and is over 150 years old. It gets used every day. I found it on a website for people who love weaving. It was made in America and was brought to England and then Dublin before ending up with me.

Best movie

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. It’s about a family who adopt a boy and he grows up to be an amazing football player. It’s a film that I find really motivational and it’s a wonderful story about how a loving family doesn’t need to be made up of only those born into it.

Best book

The Shock Of The New by Robert Hughes. It was my first favourite art book. It goes through every single art movement and I found the whole thing really inspirational.

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