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Fashion designer wins business grant

Woy Woy fashion designer Ms Gabrielle Nisbet has received a $28,750 funding grant under the Federal Government's Textile, Clothing and Footwear Small Business Program.

Ms Nisbet has owned and managed the designer clothing label Mia Mea from her Woy Woy home for the past three years and said she was thrilled to receive the innovation grant.

"The funding will make a huge difference to the way my business will operate from now on," Ms Nisbet said.

"The funding will be used to implement automated design systems by purchasing and installing special CAD software and appropriate hardware in order to provide greater efficiency, improve manufacturing processes, reduce time and waste in production and generate increased yield.

"I am expecting positive outcomes as a result for my business, including an increase in turnover, faster design processes and improved quality."

According to Ms Nisbet, her label Mia Mea, named after her four year-old daughter, can be found in more than 30 fashion boutiques throughout Australia including Melbourne and Newcastle.

The label specialises in boutique and designer women's garments.

Ms Nisbet said she was also looking at opportunities to expand to Dubai in the near future.

"I have been interested in fashion and design as long as I can remember and it only seemed natural for me to pursue a career in the industry," Ms Nisbet said.

"With more than 20 years experience under my belt and after starting a family it seemed logical to start my own small clothing design business from home.

"Working from home has suited my lifestyle so well and I enjoy the freedom and independence of owning a small business from home.

"The business has gone from strength to strength and we have seen huge growth over the past year which is very encouraging in these hard economic times.

"I think that is why it is so important for the government to provide and support small businesses through grants such as these.

"I will definitely be looking to apply for other grants and financial support that is on offer and encourage others to do the same."

Member for Robertson Ms Belinda Neal said it was fantastic to see a local small business achieve success in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Small Business Program.

"This result is great news for Mia Mea and the Central Coast, in what was a hotly contested round of funding," Ms Neal said.

Mia Mea Designer Clothing was one of 68 Australian small businesses to be offered funding totalling $2.6 million.

The Clothing and Footwear Small Business Program will provide $25 million in grants over 10 years to Australia's small designers and manufacturers.

For further information on the , Clothing and Footwear Small Business Program visit AusIndustry's website at www.ausindustry.gov.au, call the hotline 13 28 46, or email at hotline@ausindustry.gov.au

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