In December, Kelly Redhead launched her bridal design company – this month she is featured in British Vogue.
It’s a huge boost to the new business – KMR – and the latest testament to her talent.
The 23-year-old gained a first class degree in fashion design at Sheffield Hallam University last year. And her final collection Forging Heritage featuring stainless steel accessories, was chosen to open the end-of-year student fashion show.
She was also runner-up in the Brightest Spark competition during the university’s Creative Spark exhibition – as judged by senior staff at global lingerie brand Panache.
More practically, her business is doing well.
Based in a house on Springvale Road, Crookes, Sheffield, she uses the attic as a workshop and the lounge as a fitting room for clients who come in search of one-off handmade dresses for the biggest day of their lives.
But although she’s shown she can build a business, it was the New Enterprise Allowance that taught her how to run one.
She said: “I wanted to be a designer from when I was 16 and did work experience in a bridal store.
“Through my degree I learnt my craft but the advice I received about starting a business, writing a business plan, budgeting and cash-flow forecasts was invaluable. The scheme offers financial support but most importantly it supports you along the way to starting your own business.”
Kelly turned to Jobcentre Plus after graduating and was referred to the NEA scheme.
She also received help from Sheffield Hallam University’s graduate support scheme and still has free mentoring from Jill White, of Andy Hanselman Consulting.
Kelly is currently engaged and, yes, she will be designing her own wedding dress.