Amanda Riley made her first dress in 1976 on her grandmother's Singer sewing machine. She was 8 years old and she was hooked. By the age of 14 she had her own small business making clothing for friends and family. At 16 she took part in her first fashion show in the local town hall. The collection sold out in minutes.
Following a career as a designer in Milan, Hong Kong and the US, Amanda stepped back from the main-stream fashion industry due to her growing disaffection with its harmful effects on both the planet and society.
As an antidote, Amanda started The Fashion Factory in 2009. Her classes are different, cool and fun - a far cry from the dreaded needlework classes of old. Amanda's approach is to encourage students to look at styles and trends, fashion and textiles, and pick something wearable and unique to make for themselves.