New Look deal is in the bag for quirky creations
THE success of her hand-glittered, personalised jute bags has seen an East Yorkshire entrepreneur's quirky creations launched on a leading fashion brand's website.
Sharon Sumpton runs Scruffy Little Cat gift shop, which is known for its trendy, personalised bags.
Now, the business has launched its popular bags on clothing retailer New Look's website.
Sharon said: "It was a very proud moment for me when I found out the bags were being sold on New Look's website.
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"I can't really believe it. It is brilliant and I never thought this would happen when I launched.
"I am really flattered that people buy from me."
It's not just online fashion retailers who have taken an interest in Holderness Road's Scruffy Little Cat – the celebrity world has been introduced to the eye-catching bags, too. A number of stars have been "papped" with Sharon's bags, including Katie Price and reality TV star Amy Childs.
The thriving business, which Sharon launched five years ago, sees her creating about 50 girly jute bags every week.
As the popularity continues to grow, the shop is set to move to a bigger premises, also in Holderness Road.
Sharon said: "We hope to move to our new premises within the next month.
"The new shop is a lot bigger – more than double the size of where we are now."
The successful businesswoman hasn't always been creating her own products.
While working at a travel agents, Sharon started to create personalised cards as a hobby but then decided to take the plunge and launch her own company.
Sharon said: "When I first opened, I personalised everything I had – my cards, rag dolls and candles.
"The name was derived because my grandma always used to call us 'scruffy little cats' and SLC were also my initials before I got married. I did used to have a scruffy little cat, too."
Sharon then started to decorate her girly bags – originally designed as shopping bags – and sold her first one in 2008.
Sharon said: "The idea came when I saw some canvas bags from Marks & Spencer with Twiggy on.
"I loved them and wondered if I could make my own design.
"My friend asked if I could do one for her, so I did. The next thing, she rang me with an order for 20 from her work colleagues. It all started from there."
Scruffy Little Cat also sells a range of handmade personalised gifts. As long as Sharon can write on it, she will personalise your item.
As her distinctive bags continue to prove a huge hit in the fashion world, Sharon said she hopes the name continues to grow, becoming a well-known brand.
She said: "The business has grown through word of mouth and I hope it becomes really well known.
"I am so proud of the staff and our brand management team.
"Everyone has been brilliant and it is so nice that people have believed in me – it has been great."