Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kate Rockets to Success with Designs on the Stars

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kate Rockets to Success with Designs on the Stars

Article excerpt

A young Teesside fashion designer, is starting to make her mark with celebrities.

Kate Fearnley, 27, who launched her Billingham-based business in January 2002, specialises in producing her own range of designer women's clothes.

All the styles are made at her base on Cowpen Lane Industrial Estate.

In February this year her business was expanding with her Kate Fearnley label supplying 35 shops nationally and she was employing three full-time and two part-time staff.

Kate, who studied fashion at Northumbria University, is starting to build up a celebrity customer base - with soap star Nikki Sanderson, who plays Candice in Coronation Street spotted wearing one of her designs and Pop Idol finalist Zoe Birkett performing on the Feel The Noise Live stage in Stockton wearing one of her creations.

In the North-east her collection is in independent shops including those in Middlesbrough, Darlington, Durham and the MetroCentre, but most of her work sells further in Manchester, Liverpool and London.

Despite her success outside the North-east Kate says she is keen to stay in the area.

"It doesn't really matter where you are so long as you can get your stuff off on time."

RUNNERS-UP

PAUL DOLHAI AND DOUG WOLFF, owners and co-founders of Onisoft UK, of Middlesbrough.

A VIDEO game development company, set up by two Canadian graduates of Teesside University, has won the backing of several organisations.

The company has recently been awarded a total of pounds 50,000 in funding from the Innovation Action Fund, Arts Council England, North East and Northern Film and Media to help with its expansion plans.

This year the Middlesbrough-based company has also been accepted onto the Microsoft Xbox Incubator Programme aimed at a limited number of smaller developers.

The programme allows video game development companies with great ideas, and the ability to make them real, to obtain Xbox development tools and support in advance of signing a publishing deal. …

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