Michelle Jones launched, Freya-Lillie three years ago and the company is going from strength to strength with the support of Business Durham.
Michelle, who was a part-time business lecturer, decided to put her money where her mouth is and launch the online store selling handmade baby and children clothing using organic and natural materials.
The Durham City-based former model runs Freya-Lillie, named after her daughter, from her spare room at home. In the last year Michelle set up her own clothing line and attended her first trade show at Bubble London securing retailers from across the globe to resell her clothing. Freya-Lillie already has a large customer following in Denmark and Germany and Michelle expect the brand to grow further in these markets.
On setting up the company, Ms Jones said: “I’d always been interested in fashion but after I found out I was having a girl that interest moved into baby clothes. The reality was a lot different to the textbooks, and I’ve discovered many things that I’d never thought about in the classroom.
She explained: “I would love to get a shop, but for the moment it’s good to keep the overheads down. The high street isn’t doing too well, so it makes sense to be online for now. The difficulty of course in being online is getting people to your website — that has been a big learning curve for me.”
On the support she received from Business Durham, Michelle says: “I am so grateful for all the information Business Durham has provided me, it has played a huge part in helping me grow and having the right contacts. The Business Durham team also introduced me to a graduate scheme which enabled me to employ a graduate to work on our social media management, design and SEO which helped build the brands online presence. The graduate was able to land her dream role after working for Freya-Lillie.”
Joanne Urqhart-Arnold, Business Development Area Manager at Business Durham said: “It has been a pleasure to assist Michelle in growing her business. Michelle is very committed and enthusiastic and her products are proving very popular in the UK and internationally. At Business Durham we are able to help business owners, like Michelle, to understand the range of support there is available in Durham for growing businesses. I look forward to continuing to work with Michelle as Freya-Lillie continues to grow.”
For more information about the support available for businesses in County Durham visit http://www.businessdurham.co.uk
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