After graduating a fashion degree at Kingston University Claire found herself a job in the embroidery industry as an assistant with the well known embroidery company Hand & Lock. After moving through the ranks during her four years with the company Claire left as creative director to begin her own company specialising in her specific skills of embroidery design and production management. Hawthorne & Heaney is now in its third year. It has existing customers including Henry Poole, Anderson & Sheppard, Dege & Skinner and has even begun to supply the royal household. During this time Claire's skills as a self taught draftsman have had no time or means for development due to the many challenges of starting up and running her own business. After making contact with Rodney Rigby, a renowned, college of arms trained draftsman, QEST has made this training possible.