It was a now or never moment for Kate Iversen that lead her to establish Cinnamon Junction. With a love for travel, particularly the vibrancy of India and its culture, along with the prospect of being made redundant from her career in the travel industry, Kate felt that the stars had aligned for her to start her own business.
An online store and supplying small, independent retailers, Cinnamon Junction has a simple ethos: quality clothing, made by ethical partners, using artisan skills and sustainable textiles. A move away from high street disposable fashion, towards slow fashion and clothing with provenance.
When asked why she does what she does, Kate’s answer is clear – to make a difference. “Since the start, I have been working with a community of lovely ladies and gentlemen in Jaipur, who hand block print and make our stock of cotton and linen clothing and bed linen. The cornerstone of what we do is the welfare and empowerment of women, and ethical trade is the catalyst to this change. There is no better feeling than hearing, on my visits, that one of our ladies has succeeded in building a new room onto her family’s one-roomed house, or is sending her children to school, or that another lady has joined the team from working as a menial labourer on a construction site, where conditions are far from good. This is what makes it worthwhile, and these ladies are as much Cinnamon Junction as I am.”
Embarking on her journey of setting up her own business with no previous experience in business, social media or fashion has been a learning curve for Kate but it’s proven to her that she can succeed. Based in Tees Valley, Kate has benefited from SSW Skills Support for Workers funded training managed by Calderdale College and delivered by Enterprise Made Simple. Following on from an initial meeting with a business advisor at Enterprise Made Simple to understand the support available and how it could help her business, Kate describes the training as having given her confidence, belief and the knowledge that she’s far more capable than she gives herself credit for. Since attending the training, Kate felt confident in approaching new ethical retailers to stock her products both locally in Northumberland and further afield in the Isle of Wight. Kate feels more organised in her business and has applied what she’s learnt into her social media presence, becoming more adept in her online marketing and promoting her business more effectively.
Find out more about Kate and Cinnamon Junction on her website https://cinnamonjunction.com/ or social media
If you have a business in Tees Valley or North Yorkshire and would like to find out about how SSW funded training may be able to help your business, please email [email protected]