Fashion students wins funds for start up
Mary-Beth Pearson, a former Fashion and Design student, is one of the latest students to receive a grant from the Ayrshire College Foundation Enterprising Student’s Fund to help her start up her own business.
Based in Cumnock, Mary-Beth specialises in fashion design. Here she gives us an insight into her business, Meli Beseu, and her plans for the future.
After studying Advanced Higher Art at school, that’s when I decided to try fashion as a career and I realised I really love designing garments. This is where my passion lies and I love working with different materials, tools and techniques.
As part of my HND course, I designed a collection inspired by Japanese and Korean culture on "Collective Heritage ", and this formed the basis for the designing I am working on at the moment and inspired me to launch my own business.
I’m in the first phase of my business and although I’ve never been to Japan, I am heavily influenced by the style and culture in my design. I would love to travel there one day for further inspiration.
At the moment I am working on a leisure line which is inspired by the culture, which I am planning to sell online. I’m launching the Lounge Wear collection at the end of November that will include jumpers, joggers, dresses and a Japanese influenced belt called an Obi.
I also design accessories like laptop sleeves and pencil cases, all with an element of the Japanese culture in each design.
I had taken a year out after my HND, and worked at Slaters Menswear in Ayr, doing alterations, when I heard about the chance to attend the Bridge 2 Business workshops. That’s when I launched my business, with their encouragement and advice. I enrolled on to a Business course and the Designer Maker Entrepreneur course and I’ve never looked back.
The course is really helpful and covers things like photography which is great as I’m learning to take the best shots of my collections and products.
It’s a fantastic opportunity and the grant will help me to buy machinery and equipment that I need, as well as purchasing experimental fabrics such as fleece. I am also trying to incorporate zero waste into my business and be eco sustainable.
The whole experience of applying for the enterprise fund has also really helped me learn a lot about the business side of design, so things like costing, turnover etc. The workshops are interactive so I also learned a lot from the other members too.
As well as continuing with designing and making garments, my plan is to be in my own studio space and expand a lot more into different types of fashion.
Click here for more of Mary-Beth's designs.
If you have been inspired by Mary-Beth and would like to find out more about the Enterprising Students Fund, read more here.