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Success stories

Swansea-based entrepreneur gets SNUG in business success

Jane Dagwell owner of SNUG

A Swansea-based seamstress is proof that entrepreneurship can be a route from unemployment, as tailored support from Business Wales results in start-up success less than two years after its founder registered for Universal Credit.

Jane Dagwell, who has handmade garments for Princesses Diana, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, was encouraged to apply for Universal Credit in 2022, after being made redundant. It was while seeking work through Universal Credit that Jane decided to launch her own business and reached out to Business Wales for start-up support.

Since launching her business, SNUG, at a Mumbles Market in November 2023, Jane has sold over one hundred of her handmade coats at weekend markets across Swansea and Cardiff, pocketing around £14,000 in the first six months of in-person trading.

Handmade in Jane’s childhood bedroom in Waunarlwydd, SNUG coats are made from 100% sustainable, waterproof Ecotech material and lined with 320 grams of polar fleece.

Jane inherited her natural hand for embroidery and sewing from her mum and made her first garment at the age of seven. By her twenties, while living in London, Jane was making garments for friends. Her designs, marketed by friends through word of mouth, reached the attention of Lord and Lady Montagu of Beaulieu, who asked Jane to produce a set of page boy outfits for an upcoming wedding.

In the following years, alongside her full-time job, Jane produced a pair of pinafore dresses for Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, and a custom scarf for Princess Diana. In the years to follow, Jane continued to hand-create exciting designs, including set designs for the hit Netflix show Sex Education and the global television series Game of Thrones, before becoming a seamstress for Red Dragon.

Discussing her seamstress success, Jane said:

When I moved to Wales 24 years ago, I very naturally began working as a fabric maker and my life was set. That all changed when I became unemployed and was encouraged to seek a new career through Universal Credit. The more I looked for a new job, the more I realised that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, so I decided to reach out to Business Wales. I can honestly say I’ve not looked back since that day. I’m so grateful to have the service’s support. It’s been invaluable as I didn’t have the money nor the knowledge to set up a business.

Jane reached out to Business Wales in January 2023 and was referred to Business Advisor, Eve Goldsbury. Once a month for over a year, Eve and Jane have met to discuss the development of SNUG. Alongside developing a business plan, Eve has helped Jane to conduct a SWOT analysis of her competitors and customer market, explore product development opportunities, identify key markets to sell her products and apply for public liability insurance.

Eve also supported Jane in applying for Business Wales’ Barriers to Start-up grant, which was available to economically inactive or unemployed people to start up a self-employed business in Wales. Since securing the funding in September 2023, Jane has used part of it to purchase her own embroidery machine. The remaining funding will be put towards social marketing and website development in the coming months.

Discussing the support of Business Wales, Jane said:

When I reached out to the service, I had all the skills necessary to launch SNUG, but no funding or support. Business Wales believed in me and provided me with the tools and support I needed to build a successful business. I tell everyone I meet about Business Wales’ incredible support and urge fellow entrepreneurs-to-be to reach out. You won’t regret it.

Ahead of the first-year anniversary of SNUG in November 2024, Jane aims to have set up an online website, making SNUG’s popular coats more accessible to audiences across the UK following a wave of direct messages requesting made-to-order products from customers beyond Wales.

Business Wales Business Advisor Eve Goldsbury said:

Jane reached out with a passionate idea and an impressive portfolio. It became my mission to help her acquire the information and explore routes to securing the finances she needed to turn a business dream into a reality. I hope Jane’s story resonates with anyone who is currently unemployed or unsure of their future and encourages them to reach out to us. Entrepreneurism is a successful route out of unemployment and Business Wales are dedicated to supporting this pathway.

Business Wales is funded by Welsh Government. For more information and support to help your business discover opportunities, and to speak to a specialist advisor, contact Business Wales. Visit or call 03000 6 03000. Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg - we welcome calls in Welsh.

Business Wales Helpline

03000 6 03000

Lines are open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg.
We welcome calls in Welsh.