In the face of the pandemic's challenges, Shropshire-based entrepreneur Alex Leighton's journey stands as a testament to resilience and ingenuity.

Rather than attend a university course, Alex joined the Casual Technician pool at the Birmingham Hippodrome as a Dresser and she worked on over 25 different shows including Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, and Singing in the Rain.

Alex then became a Wardrobe Assistant on Strictly Ballroom the Musical’s 2023 UK and Ireland tour, produced by Phil McIntyre productions, which took her to 28 venues in 6 months!

When the live theatre industry came to a halt, Alex's pivot led her to establish her own business, Threadway Embroidery, with the support of Shropshire Youth Support Trust (SYST).

Having worked at Tesco during the pandemic's initial phase, Alex discovered her passion for machine embroidery while engraving military medals and crafting frames for a local company. This newfound passion culminated in the founding of Threadway Embroidery in 2021, when Alex acquired an embroidery machine.

Crucial to Alex's success was the guidance provided by SYST, a local charity based in Telford that supports young people who are not in education, employment or training. This support from SYST equipped Alex with essential knowledge on business logistics and legal requirements. Through workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

To connect with Alex and discover more about her business, reach out at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

 Pictured, Alex Leighton, 24, from Threadway Embroidery based in Telford, Shropshire.