by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

2023 has been a turning point for local fashion design brand Taylor Yates. The Bushmills based company, founded by mother and daughter team Karen and Ellen Yates seven years ago, has grown significantly in the last year, with its range of leather handbags now being shipped as far as Canada, Australia and to 17 states across America.

The company is about to be showcased in New York City at the ‘Women with Ambition’ Female Founder and Entrepreneur Expo on 18th November, where it will join other female-led businesses to share stories and present their collections.

The Taylor Yates range of luxury leather handbags, each inspired by and named after women in the designers’ lives, has built a loyal customer base through its Bushmills studio store and online shop. Earlier this year, the company launched a capsule collection of shirts, skirts and dresses made from bamboo silk, a more sustainable source of the material, to complement its core offering, sales of which have far exceeded the company’s expectations.

This month, Taylor Yates launched a new addition to its core handbag collection. The ‘Jenny,’ a 90s-inspired shoulder bag named after Karen Yates’ best friend of the same name, has been the company’s most successful pre-order line to date.

Speaking about the development of the brand, Ellen Yates said: “This past year has been pivotal for us. Not only have we added to our handbag collection, but we’ve also expanded our clothing lines and increased our presence in international markets through our online presence and international events such as the Women with Ambition showcase we’re about to head to in New York.

“We created Taylor Yates with what we describe as a ‘beautiful purpose’. As well as growing a sustainable, profitable business that encourages the opposite of ‘fast fashion’, we committed to supporting charities every year that help women have access to the choices we are so grateful to have.”

Looking ahead, Karen Yates believes there is great strength in retaining a personal touch with consumers: “Whether we are chatting with a customer in our store in Bushmills or emailing someone on the other side of the world, our focus is about having that personalised touch and interaction.

“We reward our customers’ loyalty. We recognise that when they invest in one of our pieces, they’ve bought into our brand. We never want to feel faceless or transactional and that’s something we’ll hold on to firmly as we hopefully continue to scale. This year has marked a step change for Taylor Yates and we can’t wait to see what next year has in store,” Karen Yates said.

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Karen & Ellen Yates



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