Struggling to acquisition great-looking and applied able clothing, Knaresborough business woman Jackie Pattison afflicted careers to actualize her own brand, Alive Wardrobe. She talks to Stephanie Smith.
Travel in abundance and you will access in style, or so the adage goes. But back you’re active and alive in the accumulated apple with alone a baby attache as your travelling companion, it’s far easier said than done.
Sheer annoyance at the abridgement of smart, comfortable, connected accouterment for businesswomen was what gave Jackie Pattison the catalyst to begin her own company.
Originally from Coleraine in Northern Ireland, Jackie was 24 back she began a inferior authoritative position in a bank. She had looked advanced to actuality able to abrasion what she wanted, rather than a accepted acquisitive uniform, but bound begin that she had run out of office-appropriate accouterment by Thursday.
In the afterward decades, Jackie, who has a amount in business studies, afflicted jobs and climbed the career ladder, acceptable aggregation secretary for a bath administration business, again alive for a software aggregation in Yorkshire, as an annual manager. But the botheration of award acceptable on-duty accouterment remained.
“I consistently acclimated to acquisition it a attempt to buy workwear,” she says. “You’d accept a few $.25 from Marks & Spencer, a few $.25 from Next, maybe a bit from Jaeger. I had a lot of audience in Scotland and London and Bristol, so I could absorb say, eight hours in a car in a day.”
What she actually bare was anatomic acute clothing, pieces that looked acceptable during and afterwards travelling, acquainted adequate and would assignment for the continued term, in the aforementioned way that a man’s accouterment does.
“In Europe, that was an alike bigger challenge. Because you were on planes, you ability be abroad for a few days, so it was accepting things that you could handwash, aloof run them through, put them on a hanger, so you didn’t accept to booty a beginning change of clothes for every day that you were there.”
In 2016, Jackie stepped abroad from her career to barrage Alive Wardrobe, her own online business accouterment beautiful accouterment for able women, with the key attempt of alms archetypal pieces that were accessible to affliction for, abiding and travel-friendly.
The HQ is at her home in Knaresborough area she has an office, a banal allowance and a photography studio. She approved out suppliers at first, and still uses alfresco suppliers for ranges such as knitwear, but now articles the ambit herself, with the abetment of a branch in Sheffield.
Working Apparel has aloof launched a abridged dress ambit of six styles and six colours. She says: “What would appear to me in the appointment is, I’d be sitting there on a Wednesday and be told I had a big presentation to do on a Friday, and I could actually do with a new dress. The abstraction is that if you accept bought article afore and you apperceive you like it, you can adjustment it in a altered colour or a hardly altered style.”
The ordered dresses booty 24 to 48 hours to arrive. The anatomy of the dress charcoal constant, so the appearance and fit are consistent, but capacity such as sleeve and neckline vary.
Each dress has a name. The Talbot is called afterwards Christine Talbot, of ITV Calendar. “She has been a big adherent of ours back we started trading,” Jackie says, adding: “The others are afterwards ancestors members. In particular, the Harriet is called afterwards my mother, as she has been and continues to be such an afflatus to me. She has formed alongside my ancestor all her activity on a farm, while adopting me and my brother and sister.
“My parents were big advocates of adamantine assignment and this was absolute in me from an aboriginal age.”
The dresses are fabricated in poly-crepe with a blow of amplitude for fit, backbone and to accumulate them crease-free. Each can be washed, popped on a hanger to dry and there’s no charge to iron. “One of the things we capital to focus on was accepting things actually washable because I acclimated to absorb a affluence at the dry cleaners,” Jackie says. “None of this is aerial fashion, it’s added of a archetypal design, article you can accept in your apparel and accompany out division afterwards season, actual simple, archetypal lines.”
There’s a assignment shirt, too, actually washable, with no ons. “It’s actual adequate and doesn’t attending like you’re consistently angry with it. Sometimes, with affection shirts, it can attending like they are aggravating to escape the jacket,” she says.
Sizes are 8-16 but there will be a bespoke annual for an added £10 to actualize added sizes and details. Prices for the dresses ambit from £114.99 to £124.99.
“I accept a lot of accompany who assignment as sales reps and annual managers, and they are consistently adage this is actually what we need,” Jackie says. “I’m complex with the Women & Business Network and we get absolutely a lot of acknowledgment from them.”
In November, she is demography allotment in Gok Wan’s One Size Fits All Show in Sheffield, and anon Alive Apparel designs will be accessible to buy on SilkFred.com. She is additionally in talks with absolute boutiques, for a attendance on the Aerial Street.
Jackie has no abjure about abrogation her accumulated career. “It’s all been new to me and I’m actually adequate it,” she says. “I like that actuality that it’s article I could see there was a alcove for.”
All designs accessible at www.WorkingWardrobe.com.
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