An entrepreneurial Kurdish refugee from Syria has opened his own tailors in Preston.
It was always Jad Rached’s dream to open a tailors in the city which has become his home.
And yesterday the launch of the Golden Needle in Church Street was a dream come true.
Jad, 34, whose first day as his own boss saw him whip apart a tailcoat to make a Jockey Silk for a customer, came to the UK with his family two and a half years ago.
He said: “I’m very happy because this is the first time I have opened a business in the UK.
“So many people have helped me open this shop.
“I’ve been a tailor for 24 years, I started when I was a teenager so I have experience in the job.
“Both Slater Menswear and Marks & Spencer said I could do alterations for them.
“I’ve bought special machines for the job; a button hole machine, a flat machine, a hemming machine and a special iron.”
Celebrations began with visitors and wellwishers tucking into cakes and baklava. Jad’s friend Muhammad, a joiner who helped him kit the shop out with new walls, also dropped into the shop to wish him well.
Jad says that he tailors everything from dresses to waistcoats and suits to chefs and nurses uniforms and can also do alterations for his customers.
Magdalena Massey, refugee employment training and enterprise officer at Lancashire County Council, who also supported Jad through the process to make his vision a reality said: “Jad has become a champion within his community.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for others to realise the entrepreneurial skills that are within the community, they are almost hidden skills.
“There is an amazing amount of talent within the Syrian community. We have got a lot of people who would love to start working for themselves but they don’t always know who to go about it.
“We want to support them to follow the process. It’s about empowering them and equipping them with the skills to enable them to succeed.”
Darren Pond, a business advisor at People Plus which supports people into employment, said: “Jad had been working for a tailors in Preston for two years and he decided that he should be doing it on his own. That’s where we came in.
“We help people set up their own businesses. We gave him all the marketing skills that he needs and sorted his cash flows.
“Restart Refugee Support is a charity which works with refugees in the UK and they gave him a loan with zero per cent interest and no fixed terms.
“He’s an amazing man. He’s very passionate about what he does.”
Sohaib Ashraf, chair of Preston Faith Forum, said: “Jad has just got to be patient until the business picks up now.
“He needs to stay positive and ride the curve, build a name and build a good relationship with people. He’s a very well-respected individual within the community.”
Expanding on the work that People Plus does contract manager Lisa Bolton-Lear said: “The programme is part of a pilot from the Department of Education.
“We support about five Syrian refugees, single mums and dads and people who are on incapacity benefit across Lancashire.
“Self-employment is rising with the gig economy and with zero hour contracts and people need to bolster their careers.
“People are trying to take control of their finances by becoming self employed. There are so many creative businesses.”
Jad lives in Preston with his wife Gina and two little boys Nouri, five, and Armin, one.