A 2014 design graduate from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has taken the next step into retail after going into partnership with Middlesbrough boutique, Pretty Twisted and expanding the stores’ product range to include her new range of clothing, hand-made jewellery and homewares.
Jessie Saint, who studied Entertainment Design Crafts (now Production Design for Stage and Screen) at the specialist art and design college, has joined forces with Kayleigh Aveling to create a ‘mini’ department store at the outlet on Newport Road after the launch of her own range, Saint.
Following her degree studies at the college’s University-level site in Hartlepool, 23-year- old Jessie developed her retail and business experience by creating her own headwear line, Silver Lining Creations, which she sold at chic clothing store Kiwi Boutique and homeware and gift store, Pretty Twisted.
The retail entrepreneur and designer from Nunthorpe in Middlesbrough then broadened her collection and has now set up a business specialising in bohemian clothing, jewellery and homewares, which she has launched under the ‘Saint’ brand, and will feature as part of the Pretty Twisted collection.
The collaboration of Saint and Pretty Twisted came about following Jessie’s role as retail manager at the shop, where she has worked since graduating in 2014, as Jessie explains. “Whilst working at Pretty Twisted, Kayleigh was a huge inspiration for me and made me feel so welcome and free to express ideas. I already felt part of the ‘business’ side of the company and after working closely and being equally involved in decision-making, Kayleigh approached me with the idea of becoming business partners, with a view to offering a wider range of unique and quirky items to customers under one roof.”
Kayleigh, 28, was delighted to offer the opportunity to the young designer. She said: “This seemed like the perfect chance to offer a more diverse range of products and expand to the second floor, where Jessie’s Saint collection is now on sale. It is great to work together as business partners and now we have two floors open offering shabby chic homeware and gifts, bath bombs, bohemian inspired clothing, accessories and jewellery. We also have big plans for the future, as we plan to open up a party ware department offering alternative party supplies.”
The store will also be stocking designs and gifts from former CCAD students. Jessie said: “It was really important to us both to support local designers and CCAD has created some amazing talent. Within our Bohemian department you can find Lucy Addison’s silver engraved jewellery, Jessica Langford’s engraved glassware and Hannah Sutherland’s Wild Gypsy collection, a fashion designer from Middlesbrough now based in Amsterdam and known for her quirky and eccentric pieces.”
Kayleigh commented: “Within our shabby chic department we have ‘Gifts by Little Miss’ We are also in talks with other companies and artists regarding stocking their work, ranging from clothing to handmade wall art. “
CCAD has created an impressive list of alumni, including Vogue photographer Boo George, fashion designer Claire Barrow and, most famously, Ridley Scott. Of her time at the college, Jessie said: “I loved my course as the opportunities were endless. Every student was there for different reasons but all of us wanting to get totally different outcomes and CCAD can do that for you.
“The college would often go that extra mile, which is precisely why I chose it over so many other art universities. The ability to think outside the box is encouraged throughout your time there. Since graduating I have enjoyed the freedom to venture in various career choices and now this is a very exciting time for me.”
Pretty Twisted is open 10am -5pm Monday- Saturday and Sundays in the run up to Christmas from13th December. To reflect its different range and style, the stores’ products are sold on individual websites. Bath bombs, shabby chic and larger homewares can be found on www.prettytwistedonline.co.uk and bohemian clothing, jewellery and small homeware can be found on www.saintboutique.com. Both collections can also be found on social media through Facebook and twitter.
For more information on opportunities at CCAD contact (01642) 288888 or visit www.ccad.ac.uk.