Designer from Emneth set to launch fashion bags business

Designer Katie Sykes
Designer Katie Sykes

Designer Katie Sykes, of Emneth, is about to realise her dream of a career in the fashion industry by launching her own business.

Inspired by her father, Keith Sykes, who runs Mossman Trunks and Five Star Cases from his factory in Wisbech, Katie came up with the concept of a miniature “trunk” to be used as a handbag.

With support from enterprise agency Nwes, the transition from idea to actual product is about to move another step forward with a launch day for her business, Katherena Ltd, at Elme Hall Hotel in Wisbech, on bank holiday Monday, May 29.

Said Katie: “I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I studied the subject at the Isle College before going to university in Preston to read fashion promotion. I moved to London, but then I realised that I wanted a career in fashion, so I moved back home to Emneth and spoke to my dad.

“We tested to see if we could make the miniature clutch bags in the factory, but the machines were too big for these smaller items.”

However Katie went to China where, after some trials, she finally found a suitable manufacturer capable of producing good quality products.

The bags, which retail at £100, are all one size, come in four different colours and are intended to be small, but just big enough to carry the essentials, said Katie.

“I have also created rucksacks which sell for £75 each. They are different from other rucksacks as they have the zip opening on the inside, which is a security feature.

“I am excited about the launch and I particularly want to thank Nwes who helped me draw up a business plan, get an initial loan and offered marketing advice.”

After the Katherena launch aimed at family, friends and bloggers, Katie is aiming to sell her products online and will be meeting potential retailers at the end of the summer.