My £60,000-a-year business: Sabina Ali makes wedding dresses that can be worn after the big day

Most women wear their wedding dress just once and then pack it away, never to be seen again.

But Sabina Ali hopes to change this with her Sabina Motasem business, which designs dresses that can be worn as evening or even workwear after the big day. Brides can add sleeves and accessories.

Sabina, 40, who is on track to turn over £60,000 this year, says: ‘The dresses are designed as a blank canvas. I worked with a jewellery firm to offer pearl and Swarovski jewellery to attach to the dress. I partnered with Olive Langstone to offer beaded belts.’

Blank canvas: Sabina Ali's designs let brides reuse gowns

Blank canvas: Sabina Ali's designs let brides reuse gowns

Some of Sabina’s dresses, typically costing £1,500, can be altered on the wedding day, and she is launching a campaign to promote an idea of wedding dresses as being ‘for life’.

She says: ‘They can be shortened, dyed or made into christening gowns.’

Sabina, based in Hackney, east London, is expanding her stockists, as she says: ‘A lot of my customers are in the north of England. It is hard for brides to come to London to buy a dress.’

Having studied knitwear and textile technology at DeMontfort University in Leicester, she went on to work at Lehman Brothers in the City until May 2008, when she decided to leave.

Sabina says: ‘I haven’t looked back since. I have just been accepted on to the Innovation for Growth programme at the British Library’s Business & Intellectual Property Centre to create new products.’