She began selling fabric from home and after a successful year got the opportunity to buy the shop in Cuckfield High Street. “For many years it was the butchers shop run by Mr Tidy who lived with his family in the flat above,” said Jane.
The shop gave Jane the opportunity to expand the business to include a curtain-making service.
Jane was soon joined by Karen Sedgwick-Smith who took on most of the curtain-making, leaving Jane free to work on smaller blinds and cushions. The pair have now worked together for 23 years.
Over the years Jane has seen huge changes in the way windows are dressed. “We have gone from very fussy Austrian blinds, which I always thought looked rather like frilly knickers, to today’s simpler styles which use far less material,” said Jane.
“Blinds have also become very popular, but I don’t think you can beat a nice pair of long curtains.”
Full article available on page 27.
By Claire Cooper
The curtain came down on one of the village’s most popular and long-standing businesses last month when Jane Henderson retired from Windowscene.
For a quarter of a century Jane has been enhancing Cuckfield homes with handmade curtains, cushions and blinds.
But Jane’s career as a curtain maker has now come to a close and she is already making the most of her new found freedom!
Jane was taught to sew by her mother, who worked as a domestic science teacher. She made her first curtains shortly after leaving home. “When I got my first flat I couldn’t afford to buy ready-made curtains, so I made them myself,” said Jane. “I used to make my own clothes too, but often by the time I’d finished I wasn’t sure I liked them any more! And it’s so much more fun to go into a shop and try things on!”
Jane came to Sussex 29 years ago after marrying a local whose parents lived in Cuckfield.
After having two children, Jane decided to
leave her job in the city and look for work that would fit in with family life.