A former Kirklees College student with a passion for fashion is hoping to inspire other young people to start their own business.
Rebecca Cockin, 23, from Huddersfield, started her retail fashion business Recoco with just £100 last year. And already she is expanding her premises and looking to take on more employees.
She has big plans to start designing her own fashion label, expand into lingerie and jewellery, turn her clothing parties into a ‘home shopping’ empire and is even aiming to be a millionaire by the time she’s 30.
Having joined the college’s Alumni, Rebecca is hoping to work with students and inspire them to follow in her footsteps to start their own business through the new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.
“I didn’t have any money to set up a business but I decided to take a risk. I figured I didn’t have much to lose,” said Rebecca.
“My advice to other young people is if you want something, just go for it. There’s no point holding back.
“Although in the current climate I think it is important to find something different, that niche that no one else is doing like I did with the parties.”
Rebecca studied performing arts at Kirklees College and initially thought about starting her own dance school. She had a brief try at event planning but found her heart wasn’t in it.
That’s when she started working in sales in fashion retail – and after two years of working her way up the ladder, she realised she wanted to start her own fashion business.
Rebecca started by spending £100 on accessories such as scarves, gloves and headbands and took them round Huddersfield selling them in different workplaces. She soon sold the stock and invested that money in more products – doubling her money each time.
Then Rebecca came up with the idea of at home clothing parties – selling dresses to women in their own homes similar to how other companies such as Virgin Vie and Pampered Chef have sold cosmetics and bakeware respectively.
The first party was held in October and already she is getting around 40 bookings a month. She hopes to expand this side of the business by taking on more staff working on a consultancy basis.
Rebecca also does charity events where the charities receive 20% of orders taken on the day. The next major event is Fashion for Charity in aid of the Joseph Salmon Trust on Thursday, May 8.
In December, Rebecca opened a shop in Westgate, Huddersfield – alongside fancy dress hire suppliers Revival. Once they move into premises next door, Rebecca is preparing to take on the rest of the building to expand her retail offer.
“I would say most of my customers are between 18 and 30 but particularly with parties I’ve found everyone is able to find something they like and that suits them,” said Rebecca.
“With the stock I’ve looked at doing it around how I would shop so I have dresses from £10 or £15 up to £85 so there is something for every budget and occasion.”
Kirklees College is encouraging prospective entrepreneurs to join its new Peter Jones Enterprise Academy – backed by the famous Dragons Den businessman.
The full time BTEC courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship will be delivered in order to nurture young people’s business ambitions.
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