Having always struggled to find well-fitting clothes to suit her tall frame, Cassie Davey had talked about starting her own tall fashion brand for years.
Focusing on her interior design career and becoming a mother meant that life just got in the way and Cassie never found the opportunity to get started.
But losing a close friend in early 2020 made Cassie realise that life was too short to just keep talking about her dream, so she decided to take action and approached Outset Cornwall for support.
“I already knew about Outset and how good the program was for supporting business start-ups from when my husband wanted to start his own business a few years ago,” said Cassie.
“Sadly, he didn’t end up doing it, and I thought Outset’s funding had come to an end, so I was really pleased to see it had returned when I did my research.”
After attending an information session and registering on the program, Cassie was ready to get going. But all plans had to be put on hold as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the whole country went into lockdown.
Things soon got back on track however, as the Outset Cornwall team worked quickly to move all future sessions online with minimal disruption, meaning clients like Cassie could continue to access the support they needed.
“I’m glad I got in touch with Outset when I did,” says Cassie. “I was thinking of launching my business in Spring 2021, which seemed like a lifetime away, but I’ve quickly realised just how much there is to do.
“I’ve completed all the Start sessions, plus additional workshops such as registering with HMRC and optimising social media, all of which were delivered via Outset’s online training room.
“I’m at a point now where I’ve registered my company Tall & Beautiful Clothing Ltd with HMRC, I’ve launched my website and social media and I’m creating awareness online, ready to launch my Crowdfunder fundraising campaign this summer.
“I never expected to reach this far so quickly, and Outset’s support has been amazing every step of the way.”
Faced with challenges such as raising funds to produce her garments, developing her designs and adapting them to suit tall women’s various shapes and sizes knocked Cassie’s confidence and self-belief. But luckily, Outset was on hand to help.
“A few sessions in, I was really struggling to focus on my goal, and questioning whether I could actually do this. But a Zoom session with one of Outset’s brilliant advisors helped me re-focus, challenged my thinking and gave me the ‘lightbulb’ moment I needed.”
By the end of Summer 2020, Cassie plans to have raised enough funds to develop her clothing designs, with production of her pieces starting soon afterwards, ready for her launch in Spring 2021.
Aimed at women over 5’10”, Cassie hopes to build a distinctive, trusted clothing brand that helps tall women feel confident and celebrate who they are.
Cassie says: “I’m still talking to my target audience to make sure that what I want to produce and how I want to produce it is right for them. But I’m getting a lot of interest from shorter women too, so who knows, maybe a sister company is on the cards!
“My one piece of advice to anyone thinking about joining Outset would be just do it; I didn’t want to grow old and always wonder “what if?”, and I definitely wouldn’t have got this far without them, so thank you Outset.”