Taylor Yates is a brand very personal to me and my daughter, Ellen.
I grew up in Lancashire in the North of England, and thought I was destined to work for other people, but my life has taken me from Warrington to London to Northern Ireland and from working for a large manufacturing company to running a family business.
I realised that my Nana, Alice Wells, had showed me another way. She started in service in Yorkshire in the 1920’s but went on to run 2 or 3 businesses from her home. We spent every summer there as children and sometimes I accompanied her on buying trips to the wholesalers, Mr Leeman’s in Manchester. She was tenacious as well as being fiercely independent and I have hopefully inherited some of her hard working northern grit.
It takes determination, resilience and a lot of hard work to be in any business today and I was reminded of the strong Lancashire women that guided me and gave me the freedom to choose. The bags are fittingly named after those great women in my family.
So how did we get here, a t-shirt business, a lecture in ethics in marketing, a changing world where people need brands need to be more transparent. The realisation that I was looking for something that was missing in the market. A conversation with Ellen, and the design of the first bag.
Those Great Women
Alice or Nana was a strong northern woman, who worked hard running a corner shop from her house and coach trips to Blackpool as a second earner. She never went anywhere without her handbag and lipstick.
Tilly was my Dad’s special name for my Mum, she was glamorous, fiercely loyal, kind and worked hard like her mother, Alice. She also loved her signature pink lipstick and her handbag.
Mary had a great sense of humour, a raucous laugh. She was a regular character found shopping in the market every Saturday and had lots of fun with her elder sister Alice.
Doris lived next door and ran a hairdressers at the end of Alice’s garden. Salt of the earth friend and neighbour who spent Saturday mornings styling and chatting.
Auntie Mavis loved ‘making’, she was a creative woman who could do lovely things with a needle and thread.