A MORPETH businesswoman has designs on expanding her home-based fashion business after marking her first year of trading.
Mother-of-two Karen Sellars has seen demand for her range of smart designer and casual ladies wear, which she sells direct to customers across the region, take-off in the last 12 months.
The news follows her decision to launch her home-based business in 2015 after leaving full-time employment in the business travel sector to pursue a different career that offered greater flexibility and more time with her young family
After looking around and weighing up her options, she signed up to become a local independent style consultant for the Captain Tortue Group, working on a self-employed basis, and is now looking to grow a team of consultants in the area.
The fast growing French fashion group is the largest textile operator in the direct selling sector, with sales in excess of €65m and ambitions to extend its network of more than 2,700 consultants across Europe, who serve over 350,000 customers.
Karen, who sells to customers via her website and pop up shops, has seen strong demand for Captain Tortue’s fashionable lines that can’t be found on the high street.
She offers a service driven around personal attention, enabling customers to see and try on the range of coordinated clothes in the comfort of their own homes at a time that suits them.
Now, as she prepares for the new spring and summer collection from her home at Dovecote on the outskirts of Morpeth, she’s targeting even more success with ambitions to double turnover over the next two years.
“I love what I do,” said Karen, “and can’t believe the success I’ve had. The clothes Captain Tortue produce are stylish and eye-catching, with a size range from 6 to 22, including a petite range that also caters for girls aged 4 years to 10 years.
“Java our new Activewear, and Dreamwear, a super soft range of sleepwear & loungewear is a great success.
“My sales have increased and other women are now asking me how they could become a consultant themselves.
“As a mum with young children, the flexibility is there to do as many hours as I want to and the business has grown as a result. You definitely do get out of it what you put into it.”
She’s also looking to encourage others to follow her own path, recommending the home-working route to other women and mums as a ‘great’ way to achieve a good work/life balance while building something positive and beneficial.
“With Captain Tortue’s ‘Business in a Bag’ this is easy. This is a dip-your-toe in opportunity with a low start up cost of £150 that is portable with no targets, plus free clothes for yourself.”
As she eyes up more demand and success, Karen added that a love of the brand is key to her particular line of business.
“You have to believe in your product, use it yourself and like the new collections when they arrive every season. I really can’t wait to get out there to show it to my customers,” she added.