The head of Northumberland Tourism has welcomed the opening of the North East’s latest tourist attraction.
The All-in-One Experience is the brainchild of onesie pioneer Kate Dawson who has turned her working factory into a fantasy land, inspired by classic stories such as Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
At the heart of the experience, visitors design their onesie and see if brought to life. “It’s the whole thing from start to finish. But not only can you book a visit to see your onesie design being handmade especially for you, you can also just book a tour of the factory to see how clothes are made.
“It’s a fascinating process and something that I think will intrigue and inspire,” said Kate, who established The All-in-One Company in Ashington in Northumberland in 2008 and helped create a new fashion phenomenon.
Using traditional tailoring and manufacturing skills, her team of designers, cutters and machinists made the onesie a must have clothing item for 60,000 customers across the globe.
“We’ve always had a close and interactive relationship with our family of customers, so The All-in-One Experience seemed the next logical step,” she said.
“There’s nothing like it anywhere else. You can go and see a Mini being made in Oxford but it’s not your Mini. There’s lots of places where you can see things being made – but they’re not yours.”
Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “This is a very different and welcome addition to the wealth of fascinating, inspirational and educational visitor attractions we have to offer.
“Every year visitors from all over the world spend more than £700m in Northumberland. The income from tourism accounts for nearly 12% of our economy. But to keep people coming we need to offer new and original experiences – and Kate and her team are certainly providing that.”
The All-in-One Experience introduces visitors to its hall of fame – showing pictures of the many high-profile personalities who have worn onesies which have been handmade in Ashington. They choose their material from the dozens of rolls in The Fabric Room and select their add-ons from a range of 31 types of ear and 15 different tails. They sit in comfort as they design their onesie and then see it gradually take shape as it passes through The Fabric Room, The Cutting Room, Embroidery Station and The Sewing Room before taking refreshment in The Tea Room.
As well as tourists, The All-in-One Experience welcomes visits from schools and fashion students.
“You’ll see skills – cutting, tailoring, sewing and embroidery – that have virtually disappeared. It’s a real education,” said Kate who has employed fashion graduates from Northumbria University and – with Northumberland College – created an apprenticeship programme.
For more details about The All-in-One Experience visit www.the-all-in-one-company.co.uk/all-in-one-experience/