A LINWOOD woman is bathing in a whole new way of life...after escaping unemployment by setting up her own soap and candle business.

Abaigh Barlow was made jobless in December 2017 after working in retail roles at Asda, McDonald’s and bath product giants Lush.

The former St Benedict’s High pupil was then given a job coach, sending her on a journey to find what future career suited her best.

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After a few months went by and that ‘dream’ job still hadn’t materialised, Abaigh was asked whether she had ever considered started her own business.

Harnessing her passion for arts and crafts, she jumped at the idea – and her online enterprise, Sugar Noir Handmade, was born.

As 22-year-old Abaigh is vegan and cares deeply for the environment, she spotted an opportunity to create a business making specialist soaps, candles and bath products.

Now she hopes to make her fortune by catering to customers who are looking for products that are vegan, kind to the skin and eco-friendly.

Abaigh told The Gazette: “Everything I had done before was in retail but then I was asked if I’d ever thought about working for myself.

“I hadn’t thought about it but it has been an absolute dream come true.

“In April last year, I was put on a course to help me towards being self-employed. I must have spent about four or five months just going to workshops. I needed all the help I could get.”

Abaigh worked with Enterprise Mentoring, based in Dundee, and got support from self-employment adviser Martin Gilbert, who was able to help her start making money from something she loved doing and could thrive at.

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“I love creating my own products,” said Abaigh, who lives with her family in Russell Place.

“My skin is really sensitive, so I know how to make products which can cater for different skin issues and I also wanted to create products which are vegan and eco-friendly.

“I wanted to help the environment, make my products clean and try to make them inclusive, so anyone could use them.

“It’s been a crazy ride. I’ve been to lots of vegan and craft fairs. I am starting to feel more settled now.

“I know I couldn’t have done it without Martin, so I’m very grateful to him.”

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