Former student Alice Acreman, is a freelance textile designer and has her own brand 'Alice Acreman Silks' based in North London. Read her interview to find out about her time at Henley College, and how she has established her successful brand.
When did you come to The Henley College? Why did you choose to come here?
I started in 2015 and chose to study at Henley College rather than stay at 6th form at my secondary school. I wanted to meet new people and work in new surroundings to complete my A levels.
There weren't many people from my school who moved to Henley College so it was a big decision to go against the grain.
There was a wide range of courses and I was really keen to study photography and English Language, these two subjects weren’t available at my school's sixth form. I was also ready for something new.
What was your first impression of The Henley College?
It felt really busy and had an exciting and sociable atmosphere. The walk up to the top site is really nice and I loved the old buildings.
What is your best memory of your time at The Henley College and why?
Going to a photography trip to Venice was a really good time. The students and tutors all got on really well. I met lots of new people and got to spend a few days practising photography in a beautiful city, but also enjoyed going to the art studio out of lesson time to work with other students who were really passionate.
Did you always want to do what you are doing now?
I had always wanted to do something creative that encompassed design, photography and fine art but it wasn’t until a few years later that I worked out how those things would come together. Now I look back at the projects I chose to work on and what I was inspired by, it makes perfect sense that I'm running a creative business.
What has influenced your decisions about the subjects you have studied and the career path you have chosen?
My art teachers at Henley College were really supportive and encouraged me to continue with the subject. They suggested the next step should be an art foundation course, which I'm really pleased I chose to do. Photography lessons was where I learnt the basics of photoshop, which I now use every single day to layout designs and edit imagery. Im also really glad that I studied English because I have to do a surprising amount of writing to market my business. Every subject I chose has been influential on my career.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to grow my brand and stock my products in multiple countries. I hope to continue freelance designing and hope to work on more bespoke projects.
What do you think The Henley College did for you – aside from the qualifications you gained?
It was the first step to becoming more independent and trusting my own instincts. It gave me a fresh start with the subjects I was alreasy interested in and encouraged me to pursue new subjects which I hadnt at school.
If you had one piece of advice for a 15-16 year old thinking about their future, what would it be?
Don’t try to decide what it is you want to do, just continue exploring the subjects your interested in and see where they lead.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I felt as though the tutors at Henley were supportive of the students which made for a good experience. I didn’t feel as though I had to complete my work to avoid getting in trouble, but more that they would give feedback and support where it was needed. It was much more mutual respect than I had experienced at school
Follow to see her amazing designs and products!
Webpage - Alice Acreman Silks
Instagram - @alice_acreman_silks
Facebook - @AliceAcremanSilkScarves
Twitter - @aliceacreman