Jayshree Patel, founder and director of Lily Lyn
Ellen Forster

Bury fashion entrepreneur bags startup loan

Jayshree Patel, founder and director of Lily Lyn has developed a premium range of affordable handbags after receiving a £10k loan from BFS Start Up Now, the North West arm of the government’s national £150m Start Up Loans programme, delivered by Business Finance Solutions.

Jayshree, who is based in Bury, has worked for the family business since she was 13. Now she is striking out on her own in a bid to capitalise upon the UK’s appetite for luxury handbags, with the 2012 Word Handbag Report identifying the UK as the second largest handbag market globally with 11.43% of the total market.

The Lily Lyn debut collection of five designs are available online, each of which can be provided in a choice of two colours.

The complete range, which starts are £200, is manufactured out of premium leather with a 100% silk lining.

For Jayshree, this has been a lifelong ambition, she said: “My passion for handbags began when I was just 5 years old and, growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, I went on to spot an opportunity and a gap in the market for an affordable range of handbags that are made using the exact same premium quality materials used to manufacture the most expensive leather goods.

“We’ve already had a great response to the range and are already in the process of developing a secondary range, which will be a selection of clutches to match the existing handbags.

“Getting the Start Up Loan has really helped to move Lily Lyn along and we used the loan to invest in products and advertising. Being able to tap into the BFS team’s business development expertise has also been invaluable in helping me to plan for the growth of the business and to explore different sales opportunities and networks.”

Paul Breen, director of Business Finance Solutions said: “Jayshree has identified a real demand in the market for quality products at affordable prices and we’ve been delighted to be able to provide the loan she needed to get her business up and running.

“Her research and planning have been meticulous and she has brought together world-class manufacturing facilities, top end design, photography and branding to enable her to create her first collection.

“As well as retailing online we are also working with Jayshree to enable her to nurture relationships with high street and independent retailers to stock her current and future collections.”

BFS Start Up Now will see £15 million allocated to new start-ups across the North West over the next two years, creating around 3000 new businesses and over 5000 new jobs in the region. Over 1000 BFS Start Up Loan recipients in the North West are now running their own businesses, creating employment and economic opportunities across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria. BFS Start Up Now is available to everyone over the age of 18 in the North West.

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