Hundreds of women across the city will have a classic pear body shape, and one Sheffield couple are continuing to ‘make dreams come true’ by making clothes for them.
Ilona Cash and Bowen Revill launched their fashion brand Ambi a year ago after Ilona became frustrated by the difficulties she faced when trying to buy dresses.
The couple spent time developing the brand and now have a range of dual-sized clothing on offer which ha been incredibly well received.
Ilona said: “It’s been a whirlwind of a couple of years, we’ve been totally swept off our feet. Eight hour days became twelve hours days - and they became twenty hour days. It was intense.”
Bowen added: “One of the very first comments that came through was from lady who told us that we’d made her dreams come true and that she’d been waiting for someone to make sizes this way all her life.
“Customers come back time and time again, which is great. Body image is really important to a lot of people and we feel really privileged to be having such a positive impact on people.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s not only customers who have fallen in love with the Ambi brand - and it was not long till the pair received offers of investment, but they decided to decline so they could stay true to their values and city roots.
Bowen said: “After only our second ever sale we got an offer of investment, which came along with a raft of requests and terms.
“We were flattered, overwhelmed and not ready to take on a partner or change our business model before we’d even sold three dresses.
“At the same time we were trying to add new styles and sizes so, after the initial six months hype, we decided to take our foot off the gas and catch our breath and focus on the group of loyal customers we’d gathered.”
When the duo returned from their hiatus, they considered using cheaper international manufacturers but decided against this so they could continue to support the local retail scene - a decision they were proud to make.
Bowen said:“We started a home grown brand and we wanted it to stay that way.
“It’s so easy to get swept up lose sight of the reasons you started but our ethos is to make high quality clothes, right here in Sheffield and that’s what we want to stick to.
“Of course we want to keep them as affordable as they can be and as accessible to as many people as possible but we’re didn’t want to do this at the cost of giving up control of our quality and of the ethics of our production.”
You can see new styles at www.ambidress.com.
Bowen has written a column about the importance of local businesses keeping their manufacturing and production in the city. You can read the column online now at www.thestar.co.co.uk. If you are a local retailer who would like to see your business featured on these pages, e-mail me at Rochelle.Barrand@jpress.co.uk