Twelve months ago a 21-year-old from Fleetwood decided to take the plunge and launch her own fashion business.
Now a year on, Jasmine Norton has moved from an online business to an award-winning shop in her home town.
Jasmine, whose shop is in Lord Street, picked up the New Business of the Year in the Wyre Business Awards last month.
She said she wanted to bring quality women’s fashion to her home town and support the local retail offer which she felt was going into decline in certain areas.
From the website (www.jasminesboutique.co.uk) her bespoke ladies wear, designed and manufactured by Jasmine, selected clothes, swimwear, shoes and accessories, have found a thriving market.
She said: “It has been just over six months and has gone much better than I expected.
“There is only one other shop nearby so this is something completely new on the street for the area.
“I only opened the shoe boutique two weeks ago before that it was just ladies fashion, handbags and jewellery.
“From leaving school I went on to do fashion design course then a degree in marketing styling and fashion at UCLAN.
“I was in my third year placement with a company in Manchester but it put me off working for a big company and I thought what I really wanted to do was run my own.
“So I started an online shop to see how things went and have done some events, catwalk shows, in Manchester, Preston and at Fleetwood Football Club recently.
“A friend who had this shop before me decided she wanted to concentrate on the one in Cleveleys doing plush home and garden ware so I decided the time was right to take this one on and open my boutique.”
Jasmine said the award had been a complete surprise.
She said: “I could not believe it, I though I had no chance. I thought there would be so many more deserving companies out there.
“At the awards ceremony they started talking about the winner I was utterly shocked. I was so chuffed.
“I have lots of ideas for expanding and developing the business. The shoe boutique upstairs opened two weeks ago .”
In addition, she will also be offering a full range of beauty treatments in a newly designed treatment room on the first floor.
As a result she has employed an intern and a beautician and is about to recruit two apprentices on the Government Apprentice Scheme.
She added: “Once this shop is established then I would think about branching out to another shop, maybe catering for a slightly older market.
“We tend to do 16 to 40s here but so many people have come in to ask if there was anything for older age groups.
“It is important to have the personal touch. People like to ask for help.
“Because its a small enough business we can give that sort of service.”