To launch TELLER online by the end of the year, with original, well made contemporary clothes and accessories.
The reason for TELLER is to try and offer an alternative to the high street’s problematic working practices by making clothing that aren't made at the expense of another person’s happiness. There is a growing movement where the money you spend can contribute positively in different ways around the world, and I would like to see the continued growth of this way of doing business.
I am launching the project through Crowdfunder to not only raise funding but to create a network with which to share my journey – photos, stories and ideas. I would love it if you could join me!
TELLER is a label that will directly reward and aim to empower the women of Bhikamkor in Rajasthan who will be producing the products. It will be partnered with the charity IPHD, which provides community development in rural areas of Rajasthan, focusing on education, healthcare and training. Every piece sold will mean money goes directly into the pockets of the women working on them.
Bhikamkor is a traditional town where opportunities for women are very limited; cultural norms encourage early marriage, maternal death rates are high and menstrual health is a taboo. IPHD have already opened a community centre for the women to learn new skills, to boost confidence and to bring a form of income and independence to the women, with TELLER the aim is to continue the hard work already started by offering training to more women and improving and developing the skills they are learning.
I travel to India in September, where my time will be split between sourcing fabrics for production, training the women in the centre, finalising the products and working on the website and online marketing. The products have already been designed and prototypes will be made in the UK and used as a guide over there. I will be working with Madhu Vaishnav, director of IPHD who will be my guiding light in India and will oversee production when I am back in the UK.
The money I raise will be put towards the initial production of the products - fabrics, trims, prototypes etc., as well as marketing costs including developing the website, photography and packaging. The budget has been created to keep set-up costs as low as possible and if the target is reached there is enough to launch as planned.
If the target is not met, the money raised will be put towards the production of the products to ensure the women can begin training and making whilst I am in India, however it would mean there would be a delay in the marketing and set up of the webshop in order to get these costs covered. TELLER will still start, however a bit later than planned.
As soon as the webshop is functional and the clothes are on the market the profits from the products will go back into the production and running costs of the company, which includes making sure the women in the centre are paid a fair wage for their hard work.
My background is initially in textile design, specialising in knitwear and embroidery; I have a 1st Class Honours degree from MMU and was awarded the 2012 knitwear award for the university. After working creatively in industry for Phoebe English, Mark Fast, Knit 1 and HKS Knitwear I became Studio & Business Manager and then Managing Director of Phoebe English, working on many aspects of the label simultaneously such as – show planning, garment production, studio managing, accounts and sales.