Jessica Robinson from Hockley, Birmingham has turned a school memory into a successful business.
An ex South and City College student, Jessica progressed to the University of Wolverhampton to complete a joint honours degree in Media and Creative Writing. She supported herself with various sales roles during her time at university and carried on working in this field upon graduating.
Around four years ago Jessica started thinking about setting up her own business. ‘I remembered a time at school when Muslim girls wanted to take part in swimming lessons but didn’t feel comfortable wearing swim suits because they were too revealing. They would wear leggings and t-shirts with the swim suit, even though the clothing wasn’t suitable for swimming. I designed a body suit suitable for swimming and my business grew from there.’ Jessica explained.
Shorso, the brand that Jessica singlehandedly created, is now stocked by House of Fraser, independent shops in Birmingham and London as well as supplied directly to schools. The swimwear has also been featured on the popular ITV show, This Morning.
At the age of 26, Jessica’s business now stocks over 80 different lines and she has big plans for the future: ‘I want to continue to grow the product range as well as the network of stockists. My dream is for my brand to be recognised across the country as a leader in modest fashion.’
As a successful businesswoman Jessica is keen to give back to the community. She has made contact with her old college and university to share her experience with other students. ‘There are two messages that I want to give to Fashion students today. First of all, don’t be scared – it is affordable to set up your own business from scratch. I started with £3,000, it gave me all the essentials for my start-up such as my website and product prototypes. My other message is that the business world is probably tougher than you think – there are barriers in your way everywhere and the competition is strong. However, with the right attitude and determination, you can succeed.’
To find out more about Fashion courses at South and City College Birmingham, you can attend our forthcoming open day on Saturday 28th January from 10am to 1pm. To find out more, visit http://www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/fashion-textiles