Carol with her daughter, who is wearing one her mum’s creations

Carol Van Rij, founder of children’s clothes company Metallimonsters, has been highly commended in the Victor Watson Trophy – an award that’s open to people under the age of 31 in the printing industry who have shown outstanding achievement.

Carol, who studied fashion design at university, began sewing clothes for her daughter during her maternity leave three and a half years ago after being disheartened by the children’s clothes she saw on sale. Her mother and husband encouraged her to set up her own business designing alternative baby and children’s clothes. With help from the Prince’s Trust, which helped her develop a business plan as well as arranging bookkeeping courses with HMRC, and armed with a vinyl heat press and a sewing machine, she set up Metallimonsters.

The business has taken off, with her clothes being sold in shops in the UK, Australia and Sweden as well as online via her website, Amazon, Etsy and eBay. She is now in the process of finding an outside company to take over the printing so she can concentrate instead on the design side.