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Case Study 3

Designer Jennifer Hamley wins international award for her bag for the busy executive

A Bristol designer who set up her own business has won a prestigious international fashion award.

Jennifer Hamley, founder of handbag start-up label Jennifer Hamley, England, beat five other finalists to win the unisex work bag category of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards in New York City.

Her bag is designed to provide solutions for the busy business executive and features many sections and pockets, including a removable tablet/ipad case, reusable shopping bag, and USB power pack.

Liz Gjoni and Jennifer Hamley

Jennifer benefited from start-up advice from BRAVE, a not-for-profit business support organisation in Bristol that has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started.

After turning to BRAVE, she completed the New Enterprise Allowance Government scheme provides support through workshops and volunteer business mentors.

Jennifer was assigned a mentor, Liz Gjoni, to help support her through the business plan process and the early days of trading.

Jennifer, who lives in Westbury on Trym, said: “I’m ecstatic to have been recognised for my talents so early in my business journey.

“I am especially thankful to Liz for guiding me through the business plan. Through methodically writing down costings, forecasts and goals the plan seemed to make everything clearer. The support and advice I got from BRAVE was invaluable and inspirational.

“I’m delighted to be able to bring this prestigious design award home to Bristol; a city that pulses with creativity and passion, encouraging me to go for my big dreams.”