I am still buzzing , I cant believe that I was shortlisted for 2 @Startup awards, Fashion and beauty start up and Innovation start up.  I won the Fashion and beauty Startup award for the North west region.  Emile and I attended the awards ceremony in Liverpool at the Camp and Furnace.  We had a great night, Emile enjoyed himself and we both dressed up for the night.

This is so great ,being recognised for our hard work and also being recognised as a fashion brand for the disabled community.  It has been long journey from the initial idea to launching the business in September 2021.  Along the way I have had the benefit of mentoring by different people and organisations.  Here are just a few of the incredible people and organisations that have helped me along the way.

1. Industry Mentor

My first mentor, was an expert in clothing manufacturing. I shared my ideas with him, and he said ‘You’ve got something here’. That conversation really kick started my work towards developing a small fashion brand. He gave me the confidence to go ahead and make the original Bealies Joggers! He introduced me to a factory that I could collaborate with, and a pattern cutter to put my ideas onto cloth, and even quality checked my samples! His contacts were invaluable to me at a time when I was just starting out in an industry that was totally new to me. It propelled me forward quickly! Without that support it would have taken me much longer to set up the manufacturing side of Bealies Adaptive Wear.

2. Business Mentor

My second mentor, had a different specialism. This time, a Business Mentor. This one helped me to register the business, and find suppliers that could help with grow the business – web and graphic designers and social media marketeers. I also needed help with back office tasks…like the accounting!

3. Local Growth Company

I’ve found great support from the Business Growth Hub, the Business IP centre at Manchester Central Library and Enterprising You. Through them I’ve learnt lots about managing finance’s, marketing and social media. The main thing I have learnt from them is self belief! Belief that I can run a successful business. Having people believing in me reinforces that to me. So big thanks to Paul, Chris, Becky and Vicki from Enterprising You. Vicky and I are pictured below! If you are thinking of starting your own business, do make links with your local Growth Company to find out what they can offer you.

4. Mentors in my Pocket

Podcasts, are great resources! The first one I ever listened to and it’s still my favourite is the Make it British podcast with Kate Hills. Kate, in her own words is on a one woman mission to save UK manufacturing. I have learnt so much from the guests on her podcast, also around pricing, social media and marketing.

Huge thanks go to all of my mentors, you have really helped me to Believe in Bealies!  We are now  getting  ready to launch our hoodies to match the joggers with special edition colours for our launch.