A young Grantham businesswoman is aiming to fill a gap in the gothic clothing market with support from The Prince’s Trust.
Plus-size gothic fashion enthusiast Kay Clarke, 29, of Grantham, has gone self-employed after completing the trust’s Enterprise Programme which helps disadvantaged young people aged 18 to 30 start their own businesses.
Kay became frustrated with how difficult she was finding it to source good quality, affordable, plus-size gothic clothing and after some research, established this was a common problem in the plus-size community.
She approached The Prince’s Trust after her sister successfully completed the course and opened her own electrical services business.
She attended a four-day workshop run by trust staff at their Lincoln office, where she learned all about setting up and running a business. Subjects included marketing, selling, pricing, taxation, self-employment versus employment, how to find and keep customers and market research.
Kay was then given assistance to write a business plan and we successfully applied for a small grant, helping to contribute to her start-up costs for stock, marketing and insurances, successfully launched her business.
She said: “Our goal is to make gothic clothing available for everyone. There is a lot of gothic clothing for skinny minis, so we have chosen to cater more for plus-sizes.”
She has been assigned one of The Prince’s Trust’s volunteer business mentors to help and support her during the first two crucial years of running her enterprise.
She said of the programme: “I didn’t know anything about running my own business, but The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise Programme gave me the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue that dream. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the staff in Lincoln. I would recommend the programme as I truly wouldn’t be where I am right now without them. One day I would love to be able to get involved and help others through The Prince’s Trust to enable more people to have the support that they have given me.”
The Enterprise Programme covers the whole of Lincolnshire and runs courses every month in Lincoln, as well as occasionally at Boston, Skegness and Louth. To be eligible you must be aged between 18 and 30, be unemployed or working fewer than 16 hours a week or in education for 14 hours and under a week. Information: www.princes-trust.org.uk
* Visit Kay’s website at www.gothicchamber.co.uk