An eye for design and skills in dressmaking have helped young entrepreneur Katie Brown from Wakefield turn her passion for fashion into launching Identity, a new boutique situated in The Ridings Shopping Centre.
The young entrepreneur, aged just 20, will be selling her own unique, hand-made clothing and accessories for men and women through their new retail outlet. Supported by a £2,000 grant from the Wakefield Towns Team Partners Fund, Identity will also offer a bespoke design service and alterations alongside pieces from local independent designers.
Katie comments: “I’m really excited by this opportunity and my future in retail. Whilst I know it won’t be easy, I have a strong support network, particularly with help from my sister Stacey and have been overwhelmed by the practical help and support that I have received from The Ridings. Without their guidance and the grant from Wakefield City Centre Partnership, this simply wouldn’t have been possible.”
Katie is supported by her older sister Stacey, who studied textiles at Huddersfield University and helps create the designs as well as helping to run the store. “My first step into retail on the high street started with The Ridings’ Pop Up Boutique,” explained Katie. “This gave me a great understanding of what shoppers like and meant that the products could be made during the week and sold at the weekend”
Through Identity, Katie is one of the first recipients of a grant from Wakefield City Centre Partnership’s Wakefield Towns Team Partners Fund, which is a smaller offshoot off the Portas Pilot Scheme 2012 and match funded by Wakefield City Council. The grant will be used to market and develop the business in their first year of trading.