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New entrepreneurs open their own flagship store

NEWS LAST UPDATED : 29 OCTOBER 2013

Recession-busting young entrepreneurs from Birmingham City University are to open their own shop in the city’s premier shopping and lifestyle centre.

Ten students and graduates have come together to launch Birmingham City University’s first Entrepreneur Store at The Mailbox, in Birmingham city centre, on Tuesday 15 May.

The ambitious entrepreneurs all share the same vision - that Birmingham, as the ‘original design city’, is the perfect home for an alternative retail venture, selling a range of creative products and accessories from the arts, lifestyle, fashion and home ware sectors, and includes everything from kitsch handbags to vintage trinkets.

“We are facing tough economic challenges but our enterprising students, graduates and project partners see this as an opportunity to launch their own shop,” said Beverley Nielsen, Director Employer Engagement at Birmingham City University.

“These new entrepreneurs have the confidence in their skills and the products they have designed. Their creative talent will now be on sale in Birmingham’s most prestigious shopping location.

“We are delighted that The Mailbox is fully backing the Birmingham Made Me store - and recognise that they are helping the next generation of designers who we expect to be soon selling their future brands in flagship stores across the region, the UK and beyond.”

The traders will rotate with new students and graduate products being introduced regularly. Textile designer, Sara Page is one of the first group of entrepreneurs taking part in the venture. Her brand, ‘Sara’s mark’ is made using painterly brush marks, CAD and traditional screen printing, embracing new technology whilst looking ‘hand drawn’ or hand sewn. A selection of her designs, including her award winning bottle-stop design, a textile bottle covered in a bottle print design and filled with sand, will be available to buy in the shop.

The Birmingham City University Entrepreneur Store is supported by IDEA Birmingham, a Birmingham City University-led business think tank.

The store also supports the University-based ‘Birmingham Made Me’ campaign, that will culminate in the inaugural IDEA Birmingham Design Expo (15 to 22 June) at The Mailbox. The showcase has won the personal praise of Business Secretary Vince Cable, who recognises the region’s contribution to economic growth.

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