Grand designs from Greysteel
Olivia Casey Boutique is a shining (or should that be sparkling!) example of why you shouldn’t be dissuaded from chasing your dreams. At 23, and with zero industry experience, Casey Moore’s credentials for starting her own business (not even mentioning the current uncertain economic climate) would not exactly have filled anyone with confidence. And yet, seemingly against the odds, this unassuming graduate in Fashion & Textile Design at the University of Ulster has made enormous progress after just three months of trading.
Relying on social media and word-of-mouth, Olivia Casey Boutique is about to showcase an exciting new urban-influenced collection (designed by Casey), is already the darling of several prominent Irish fashion bloggers, and can boast more than 3,000 followers on Facebook.
“I always wanted to open up a shop since I was young. Once I graduated, I really wanted to design my own line. I went to work for Una Rodden on a year’s placement and was really inspired by that. She had a similar set-up, clothes that she had sourced and bought in together with her own line of custom-made.”
Creativity and determination are essential, but so too is a sound structure for the business. Casey was advised that Roe Valley Enterprises could help. “As soon as I came out of university I went on Jobseekers as I’d heard there was a grant for the first year of a new business. That was no longer the case, but I was recommended to speak to Roe Valley Enterprises. They structured everything for me and did the business plan, which enabled me to secure a start-up bank loan. That wouldn’t have been possible without their help.”
Spend some time with Casey Moore and you’ll begin to believe anything’s possible for this young designer. Shy, yet driven; clearly talented, yet totally unpretentious (that alone is fairly unusual in the rarified air of the fashion world); she might have to get used to the spotlight sooner rather than later.
New York, London, Paris, Milan…Greysteel! Laugh all you want, but Casey (Olivia Casey Boutique) might just be about to become the poster girl for small business start-ups.