By Olivia Jones

The online fast fashion industry is constantly growing. With mobile apps such as Depop, Instagram and Facebook being a crucial part of the growth of small business, consumers are reconsidering buying from their standard high-street stores. Online businesses are becoming increasingly popular with their high quality materials yet low prices. 

Spoiled Nation wanted to understand what having a small business means to an online clothing company. We spoke to Katie Stafford, owner of The KT Label. A local entrepreneur who runs her fashion brand from the comfort of her own home and has an amazing following through social media. We wanted to gain an insight into the reasoning behind opening an online company and her plans for the future…

What made you want to open The KT Label?

Initially I started it for just a bit of money on the side as being a student I needed help with finances, but as my brand progressed I found a new love for fashion. I always struggled with finding affordable clothes that I thought suited my style and being a student I wanted to look my best but also not spend ridiculous amounts. I thought creating my own brand aimed at girls who don’t want to spend above and beyond on one outfit would be perfect! Giving girls the chance to buy affordable pieces that look great and not feel the pinch in their bank account. 

Where do you see The KT Label in 5 years’ time?

In 5 years’ time I will hopefully have a following in the celebrity world where influential figures will be promoting the clothes. I expect sales will increase and everyone will of heard of my brand. I would like to eventually move away from selling through social media and actually have my own boutique somewhere. That would be a dream of mine! I would also look at progressing onto men’s wear to open a whole range of new possibilities.

What are your thoughts on how the Brexit deal could potentially affect the fashion industry?

For my business, in particular, it will affect it massively! As I buy my stock from various wholesale and sell on companies, which include businesses within the European Union, the prices of stock will increase. That would mean me having to put the price of my stock higher and potentially losing custom. I am constantly competing with larger UK brands so if I put my prices up my customers may go elsewhere for affordable clothing. Where the larger brands could afford to pay more for their stock, I would have to rethink where I buy my stock and as a result increase the prices. 

Has moving to Manchester affected your eye for fashion?

Yes 1000%! As I grew up in a small village in the countryside, moving to Manchester has really opened my eyes to the possibilities fashion has to offer! Everyone is so diverse and creative in what they wear, it really inspires me to think of new styles and trends my customers would want. Manchester is hugely populated with students and I’d always think it must be expensive to look amazing whilst being restricted to a budget, that’s what inspired me to make my clothes affordable. As I was experiencing the nightlife Manchester has to offer, I would see various celebrities and be inspired by their outfits. That’s what made me want to include party wear to my stock. 

Has social media contributed to the success of The KT Label?

Yes definitely. I started out on Depop but I knew if I moved my business onto Instagram I could potentially gain a greater following and as result gain more customers. As the majority of people my age use Instagram on a daily bases, it would be careless of me not to use this to my advantage. With the help of my friends sharing my page and their friends sharing it on their accounts it has enabled me to gain followers from all over. It has also helped see feedback from customers as they usually upload an image of the items they have bought and tagged the brand. The more people do this, the more likely other girls will press follow and buy from me. My customers range from all over the UK and I believe Instagram is the fundamental factor for this!