HER textile designs can be seen in some of the country’s biggest high street shops.

But Michele Payne’s journey to success was a long one, and she began her working life in a T-shirt factory.

Now working from a home workshop in Worthing, Michele has recently completed a new range of bedding designs for Mothercare and Tesco.

She credits her success with taking up a course at the University of Brighton – despite the disapproval of her mother.

“We grew up without a lot of money and my mum didn't really approve of me going to university,", Michele explained.

"She wanted me to get a job because she'd always had to provide and knew the practical importance of a good income."

A single mum working in a mushroom factory, her mother had also been a presser in a clothing factory and taught Michelle to make her own clothes, and she developed a love for fashion.

She worked for a year in a t-shirt printing factory as an embroidery digitiser before going to the University.

"If I hadn't gone on to study I would have probably stayed with them", she said.

“But I was determined to study and was only able to because I was awarded a full grant to live on."

Despite struggling financially throughout the course she was determined to succeed and produced her final collection on muslin because it only cost £1 or £2 per metre.

"Rather than being limiting these things helped fuel my creative approach", she said.

“It was great that the course tutors never made me feel that the amount of money I invested in materials was detrimental to my work, so I didn't feel impeded as such, it was just another thing to problem solve at the time.”

A textile designer since she graduated in 1994, during a year of work experience she travelled abroad for the first time and worked as a designer in Lyons, Budapest and London.

After graduating she sized an opportunity to go with a friend at Vasino Spa in Chieri, near Turin, Italy.

She initially specialised in womenswear prints, working as a designer and colourist for Vasino Spa and then for Miroglio Spa in Italy for four years after graduating.

When she then returned to the UK and worked as a textiles journalist for a trade magazine working on trend shoots and covering trade fairs.

In 2003 she began designing for childrenswear, initially working in-house at Sugarcube studio, then going on to design for George at Asda and Mamas and Papas, before going freelance in 2009.

After taking a year and a half of maternity leave, Michele is now finding her feet again as a freelance designer and has recently completed ranges for Mothercare and Tesco, as well as designing for Lilly + Sid since 2011.

Other clients have included Mudpie, Pigeon Organics and Hibou Home.

To see Michele’s work go to www.michelepayne.com