A Rotherham-based entrepreneur whose catwalk creations once took London Fashion week by storm is wowing blushing brides across the world with her bespoke range of bridal accessories.
From an early age, Chelsey Peart (née Crossland) always had a keen interest in the fashion world. She studied Fashion Design at University and the 26 year-old from Rawmarsh has built a career for herself as an art and textiles teacher. But unlike most teachers, Chelsey has a secret second life.
After the lesson plans are written and the red pens are put away, Chelsey breaks out her sewing machine and channels her creative energy into producing intricately beaded bridal accessories including garters, head pieces and chokers, all of which are individually made and tailored to the needs of her growing international clientele.
During a chance encounter with a make-up artist, Chelsey found out about the Launchpad programme; a free-to-access business support service part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, aimed at helping new entrepreneurs transform their ideas into a commercial reality.
Even though it was New Year’s Eve, Chelsey was determined to make 2017 her year, immediately firing off a speculative email in the hope of gaining the support and advice she needed to make her dream fashion label become a reality.
Over the past eight months Chelsey has been working alongside a dedicated business advisor, helping her to develop and refine her business plans as well as spending time developing a digital marketing strategy to drive sales and build her newly developed brand.
Since Chelsey started working with Launchpad, her unique hand-made products have attracted global interest. She has secured orders from brides across the world including America and New Zealand.
Her business, Chelsey Crossland Bespoke, has also secured deals with a number of retail outlets across South Yorkshire and she is setting her sights on launching her own boutique in the future.
The success of Chelsey’s bridal range has given her the confidence to add new lines to her first collection and she is currently working on a new diffusion line which includes gothic-inspired alternative pieces.
In addition to her custom made bridal accessories, self-confessed magpie Chelsey is drawing inspiration from the roaring twenties, Latin and ballroom costumes and even chandeliers and ornate gilded window frames to add glitz and glamour to her new range, adding occasional dresses, loungewear and beachwear to her luxury lifestyle brand.
Chelsey Peart, founder of Chelsey Crossland Bespoke, said: “If someone had told me this time last year I would be receiving orders for my designs from the four corners of the world I would have laughed at them, but since I started working with Launchpad, that’s exactly what’s happened!
“I liked the idea of running a business, but working full-time meant I couldn’t always attend the training workshops due to my classroom commitments. I wanted to find a way of sharing my two passions in life, creating beautiful products and inspiring others in the classroom.
“Fashion has always been an important part of my life and began with my love of the eclectic. Seeing my collection on the catwalk at London Fashion Week gave me a much needed confidence boost.
“It made me realise people liked my work and were genuinely interested in the designs I produced. It planted a seed in my mind and I’d find myself waking up at 3am and reaching for the nearest thing I could find to jot down new design ideas.
“I decided that 2017 was my now or never moment: Until this year I was designing with no real outlet to exhibit my work. Making beautiful things makes me feel excited about life.
“There have been ups and downs along the way, but the support and recommendations I’ve received from the Launchpad team has been beyond my wildest dreams. It’s not only helped me to develop my business ideas, but encouraged me to believe in myself.”
Julia Millea, business advisor, SCR Launchpad, said: “Chelsey is an immensely talented designer, but as she was employed full-time she felt unable to develop her business ideas further.
“From the outset she had a very clear idea as to what she wanted to achieve, but like many people, wasn’t sure where to start when it came to running a business.
“It is always rewarding to help individuals who are clearly passionate and dedicated about a subject to see them achieve their goals. Launchpad was set up to help people who are thinking of running a business, enabling them to access the right advice at the right time.
“We’ve been working with Chelsey from a very early stage in her business journey, helping her to develop a robust business plan which is already attracting attention from fashion-savvy brides to be from across the world who are looking for something truly special and unique for their big day.”
Launchpad is a unique scheme which forms part of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. Funded by the European Union Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Princes Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last two years.