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Case Study: Ollie and Fred-Business Growth Programme

Case Study business growth Growth Hub 13/12/2021

Katherine Kershaw founded accessories brand ollie and fred in 2018

Katherine Kershaw, founder of accessories brand ollie and fred joined the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme in 2019 and shares her experience of the programme below.

Following a varied career spanning sectors from IT to advertising, Katherine Kershaw founded accessories brand ollie and fred in 2018. Katherine designs scarves, purses, and socks for men and women, with patterns inspired by her love of music, and the city of Manchester.

Tell us about your role…

"I’m a sole trader so I do everything at ollie and fred, from making decisions on new designs and collections to packing products, to marketing and everything in between.”

Why did you join the programme?

“I’d never run my own business before and I could work out for myself how to build a website and I knew which products I wanted to produce but after many years at home as a full-time mum, my confidence was at an all-time low.

“I wanted to meet other small business owners, commit to goals, and get back out into the working world again.”

How did the workshops help to develop your skills?

“Confidence was a huge issue for me. I felt uncomfortable talking in front of the group at first, and I was dreading making a video. [Participants record short videos as part of the programme, to help boost confidence and develop social media marketing skills.]

“Towards the end of the course, I’d grown so much in confidence that I was making videos because I wanted to rather than it being part of a task.

“I also met a wonderful group of people that have been incredibly supportive and are still a large part of my business network.”

A piece of advice for other start-ups…

“Planning and setting goals is so important. It’s hard to stay motivated all the time (especially during COVID-19), so setting yourself targets helps to keep you on track.

“Build a good network and business community around you – they will pick you up when you need it and will help with business development and new opportunities.”

Find out more about ollie and fred 

Find out more about Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme