WINNER of the Casino Lions Club Part-time Student of the Year at the Casino Campus was Helen McDermott, of Ellangowan.
WINNER of the Casino Lions Club Part-time Student of the Year at the Casino Campus was Helen McDermott, of Ellangowan.

Lennox student's TAFE success

By BREE PRICE

CARYN GILLESPIE became a familiar face at the TAFE North Coast Institute Awards of Excellence on Saturday night ? she was called on four times to collect awards, including the big one, Student of the Year.

The 29-year-old Lennox Head resident completed a two-year course in Diploma in Textiles, Clothing and Footwear in 2004.

Caryn also received the Fashion Students Vocation Club Award for 2004, the Fashion Student of the Year and the Arts and Media Faculty Award during the ceremony held at Lismore City Hall.

"My boyfriend Greg was teasing me about preparing a speech, but I thought I wouldn't have to say anything," Caryn said.

"And then I did, and I didn't have anything to say."

Fashion design is a career change for the former Alstonville High School student.

Caryn worked as a graphic designer for several years before pursuing fashion.

"I had always wanted to do it, but I was steered away from it by people saying it was very competitive," she said.

"So I chose graphic design, but I still had an interest in fashion.

"I thought it was a good time to learn something new.

"I definitely want to continue with fashion."

Caryn has developed her own line of intimate apparel under her own label, Caryn Gillespie.

The locally-manufactured range includes five singlet and hipster brief sets, each with a different screen print.

"There's a kangaroo, a peacock, lotus flower, black cat and tiger, and I've sold about 100 designs," Caryn said.

"It was sort of a prototype to see the response. Now I have to go back and rethink the marketing and manufacturing."

Caryn said her entry into the fashion world had made her realise the multi-faceted nature of the industry.

"Designing the clothes is only one small part of it," she said.

"There's the bookwork, marketing and I haven't written a business plan yet.

"I'm terrible with numbers, I'm definitely the creative designer. My boyfriend Greg has to help with all the number work."

n Caryn's range of intimate apparel is available online at www.caryn.com.au



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