A small Belfast company provides services for the clothing trade and is giving women work opportunities.

With £800 redundancy money and some Credit Union savings, Lillian McManus set up ‘All The Trimmings’ providing services for the clothing trade. Using materials from their own fabric shop, her staff make samples of garments and produce some lines of their own.

Lillian McManus received an order for a pattern book of upholstery fabrics and using a Local Enterprise Development Unit (LEDU) grant and one year scheme for the self employed, she set about hiring staff. Now her small Belfast city centre premises houses five part-time staff involved with stitching over-locking and design and cutting.

I hope to create a job a month and in the first six months I succeeded in that.

Lillian McManus says the company has recently supplied samples for  a designer house in New York who is,

Very definitely interested in the 'Made in Ireland' label.

She also  has a sizeable contract for first communion dresses to supply shops in Belfast, Dungannon, Strabane and Antrim.

Mary Doherty has known Lillian McManus for a long time. She agreed to make up samples of communion dresses in return for some supervisory training. Eventually she would like to be a supervisor in a factory.

Employee Bronagh O’Neill is a clothing diploma student at Belfast Institute of Technology. She lends a hand when there is a glut of items to be made. Dressmaking helps her to earn some extra money as she does not have a student grant. Eventually Bronagh O’Neill would like to set up on her own as a dressmaker or designer.

Staff member Catherine Patton loves making ball gowns and would love to have her own shop exporting her creations to Europe and America. She would like to base her business in Belfast so that it could provide much needed employment, 

As well as that it would help people to see that there is something coming out of Northern Ireland other than Troubles and that.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 January 1985. The reporter is Póilín Ní Chiaráin.