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A knitting mum from Flackwell Heath breaks into retail on BBC show
A MUM who recruits grannies to knit home-made scarves has secured a deal with a high street clothes chain after appearing on a BBC television show.
Beryl Brewis, of Oakwood, Flackwell Heath, was selected from hundreds of applicants to feature on High Street Dreams - a reality business programme which aired on May 24.
The 39-year-old single mum produces woollen scarves with help from local grannies. The scarves are long and thin with tassels and buttons sewn on at the end.
The programme showed millionaire businesswoman Jo Mallone give her advice on entering the fiercely competitive fashion industry and ended with Beryl pitching her product to retail chain Jigsaw, which agreed to buy 200 scarves.
Beryl told the Bucks Free Press: “It's all been so exciting...and a lot of hard work. I lost about ten days sleep during the filming and one day I was knitting for 11 hours straight.
"I had no idea what it was going to be like and right from the off I never thought I would get picked at all."
A recruitment session for knitting grannies was shown in the programme when about 40 women turned up at the Flackwell Heath Community Centre. Beryl has recruited 15 knitters to help her with the scarves but is still looking for five more.
With the luxury merino wool scarves selling for more than £150 each the order is worth about £25,000, though Beryl says much of the profit will go back into PR and marketing her products.
She has lived in Flackwell Heath for 14 years with her sons Archie, 14, and Jack, 16, who go to Wye Valley School in Bourne End.
She now plans to set up a 'make do and mend' school in High Wycombe in September and is busy trying to secure a venue. She hopes to teach upholstery, knitting, dress-making and pattern-cutting.
Click the links below for Beryl's website and the BBC iplayer - where the show is available to watch until 10pm this evening.
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