Onesie entrepreneur to kick off Northumberland enterprise event
The creator of a successful onesie manufacturer based in Ashington will have a film about her journey screened at upcoming The Big Start Your Business Event, at Woodhorn Museum.
The All-in-One Company founder Kate Dawson is urging others to have a go at their own enterprise, as part of the April 26 event.
Kate set up The All-in-One Company in 2008 to sell her handmade onesies in more than 150 countries - helping to create a worldwide fashion phenomenon.
She said: “There are so many people with talent, imagination and energy in the region and I think it just takes a small bit of encouragement to give them the confidence to apply their skills.
“It’s obviously not for everybody and you’ve got to accept that there will be tough challenges as well as very long hours, but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing an idea you came up with become a product that is talked about virtually every day in the papers, online and on radio and television.
“When I started there were some people who laughed at the thought of adults wearing a onesie. They questioned the fact that I wanted to manufacture in the UK. They told me it wouldn’t work as everything is made in the Far East and I would never compete on price.
“I’m glad to say I proved them wrong. It’s not about competing on price it’s about making a perfect product in the UK and understanding that your customers want quality.”
At the start of the month Kate featured at a Trading for Good event which was addressed by Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah and Philip N Green – the Prime Minister’s adviser on corporate responsibility.
Stuart Cutforth, principal and chief executive at Northumberland College, said: “We knew about Kate and her business because we have worked together to create apprenticeships for a number of young people. She has a great story to tell and it’s one we believe will inspire our students to think seriously about having their own business.”
Kate addressed 60 organisations at the college’s Employment and Skills Forum and has been asked to be the guest speaker at its graduation ceremony later this year.
Northumberland College’s chair of governors Jacqui Henderson CBE, who is also the founder of Northumberland Executive Women (NeW), said: “We all need role models and it is a tremendous help for young people to hear about The All-in-One Company and the many challenges it has had to face and overcome.”
Last month Kate spoke to Newcastle students as part of First Face to Face, a network set up by the Bridge Club to help young people develop their enterprise and employment skills.
The Bridge Club’s managing director Caroline Theobald said: “To be successful in business you need to listen and learn and understand the importance of developing relationships.
“People find the story of The All-in-One Company fascinating - partly because of what it makes - but also because, in no time at all, it went from an idea many people thought was daft to a very successful business.”
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