I get asked all of the time how I ended up pursuing a career in the intimate apparel industry and in all honesty there are many answers to that question. However, the truth stems around the fact that I accidentally fell into it. One decision after another in my teenage years provided me countless opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to pursue.
If you told me at the age of 17 when I was doing my A Levels that in seven years time I would be setting up my own lingerie and nightwear business I would never have believed you. I was studying Maths, Physics and Textiles, looking to potentially envelope myself in a career in medicine. I was at an all girls grammar school in Gloucestershire, when it dawned on me that science and numbers wasn’t making me happy – and that is all I really want out of life – to be absolutely, immeasurably happy. That’s the dream, right? So after a lot of sleepless nights and probably the biggest decision I have ever made, I decided to drop out of school.
This is when my life really began, I started looking into college courses that were going to provide me with daily education that made me happy and excited to get up in the morning. I sat and researched appropriate courses all over the county, when I settled on a small college in the rural town of Stroud. I began in the September of 2011, when I fell in love with the fashion industry all over again, and I knew that this was my calling.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t entirely jump ship from algebra to a sewing machine. I have always loved fashion as long as I can remember. My mum fondly reminds me that I have been making my own fashion choices since I could talk (some more successful than others). However, it was college that gave me the confidence to explore different avenues within the fashion industry and really discover who I wanted to be as a person. It was here that I found Contour Fashion BA (Hons) at De Montfort University. My tutor had attended there herself and said the course was perfect for me. Once again, a lot like some of my other choices, I applied, got a place, and attended, all within about 10 months.
Contour Fashion, if you haven’t heard of it, is the study of lingerie and swimwear. The three years of my undergraduate degree all seem like a massive blur. When people tell you that your university years will be the best of your life and that they will fly by – trust them, they’re not kidding!! I made the best friends any girl could ever wish for, sewed more knicker elastic than I would care to admit but most of all I set out to do what I aimed – I ABSOLUTELY LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!! I can honestly say my university years were the best so far, and probably aided in my ever-growing infatuation with underwear.
I discussed in my previous post that I went straight from my undergraduate degree to do my masters. I did this for myself more than anything, I knew that being my own boss and starting a business was another aim of mine. However, at the age of 22 and straight out of university I just wasn’t quite ready. My Masters in Fashion Management with Marketing allowed me to learn multiple invaluable lessons for starting a business, but without pushing me out of my comfort zone too much. I was still in education and in an environment I was used to. I am currently waiting to graduate in just under two weeks with what will be my biggest achievement to date.
That is the route I took to ‘fall’ into the position I am in today, starting up an intimate apparel business and about to become a ‘Master of the Arts.’ I cannot say dropping out of sixth form and starting something entirely new is for everyone, but I can put my hand on my heart and tell you it’s the best decision I have ever made. Taking that plunge has provided me the best friends a girl could ever dream of, an education worth the stress and a future that makes me happy when I wake up every morning.