Right on but­ton for style pi­o­neer

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

AMUM-OF-THREE from Orm­skirk has set up an on­line women’s cloth­ing store which has ev­ery­day women mod­el­ling the clothes, rather than mod­els.

Clare Bates, who lives in Orm­skirk and grew up in Skelmers­dale, launched Style But­ton af­ter hav­ing her third child and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing low mood, low self-es­teem and a lack of body con­fi­dence.

Style But­ton has ev­ery­day women fea­tured on the web­site, all of whom are mums.

The whole idea is that other women can go onto the site and see what the cloth­ing looks like on real women, of dif­fer­ent body shapes and sizes.

PR spe­cial­ist Clare said: “My youngest was 10 months old and my con­fi­dence was at zero. I or­dered clothes to cheer my­self up, but was dis­ap­pointed as noth­ing suited me, de­spite them look­ing great on the model.

“Then the light­bulb mo­ment hap­pened. I re­alised I wasn’t that brand’s tar­get au­di­ence and that’s when I had the idea for Style But­ton.

“I wanted to open an on­line cloth­ing store that the av­er­age woman on the street could re­ally re­late to, with im­ages of ev­ery­day women of dif­fer­ent sizes mod­el­ling the clothes.

“Per­son­ally, I have found it a bit daunt­ing shop­ping on­line, the clothes look amaz­ing on a Size 8, 5’10 model and I won­dered if they would look good on me.

“I am hop­ing that Style But­ton helps to take away that worry for other women, as they can see what a play­suit or dress looks like on a Size 8 or a Size 14.”

Clare also feels that women, espe­cially new mums, are un­der mas­sive pres­sure when see­ing celebrity mums pro­mot­ing post-natal body ex­pec­ta­tions of per­fec­tion on so­cial me­dia. The women mod­el­ling on Style But­ton, in­clud­ing Clare, are all ev­ery­day women, all have had chil­dren and have all ex­pe­ri­enced some of the changes that women go through af­ter be­com­ing a mother. One is a UK Size 14, an­other is a Size 10 and the other is a Size 8.

This is to demon­strate what the cloth­ing looks like on dif­fer­ent body types.

Sizes on the web­site cur­rently range from 8 to 16, and there are plans to in­clude smaller and larger sizes in the fu­ture.

Clare said: “I un­der­stand that we need to do more to rep­re­sent more body types; we have only been trad­ing one month and have a small range of cloth­ing, as we set up with a shoe­string bud­get from my kitchen ta­ble.

“I plan on stock­ing smaller and larger sizes and have real women mod­el­ling those, too. I will al­ways rep­re­sent real women to­day, un­touched and hon­est.

“It is so im­por­tant for me, as the mum of two lit­tle girls, that we are com­fort­able in our own skin, it is one of my main fo­cus points as I grow the busi­ness.

“Women in my age bracket, aged 28 to 40, are usu­ally in a tran­si­tion stage, grow­ing in their ca­reers, moth­er­hood or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing new life pri­or­i­ties.

“Few brands cater for them, it is ei­ther re­ally young fash­ion or older.

“I feel pas­sion­ately that there is a gap here, more women want to see brands that re­ally rep­re­sent them.

“I want women to come onto my web­site and see what the clothes would look like on some­one just like her, an av­er­age, ev­ery­day woman who wants to look good.”

Style But­ton launched in June this year af­ter re­ceiv­ing start up sup­port from Lan­cashire Com­mu­nity Fi­nance, which pro­vided guid­ance with the busi­ness plan and a small start-up loan.

Start Up Loans Man­ager Elaine Rim­mer, at Lan­cashire Com­mu­nity Fi­nance, said: “As the lo­cal de­liv­ery part­ner for Start Up Loans, a Gov­ern­ment-backed na­tional ini­tia­tive aimed at am­bi­tious peo­ple who want to start their own busi­ness, we of­fer busi­ness start-ups loans from as lit­tle as £500 to be paid back within one-five years at 6% PA fixed, with no ar­range­ment fees.

“Ap­pli­cants don’t just get fi­nan­cial help, they also get busi­ness sup­port, with all suc­cess­ful loan ap­pli­cants pro­vided with a busi­ness men­tor to help guide them on their path to suc­cess.

“We are very pleased to have been able to help Clare to be­come a busi­ness owner and achieve her dream in es­tab­lish­ing a busi­ness she is very pas­sion­ate about.”

Clare said: “The start-up sup­port I have re­ceived has been great, I have found the men­tor­ing sup­port in­valu­able and the small loan en­abled me to pur­chase stock and get the busi­ness off the ground.

“The over­all re­cep­tion has been good; I think a lot of women have found it re­fresh­ing to see a cloth­ing site us­ing women that are just like them.”

You can find Style But­ton at www.style­but­ton. co.uk

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