ELLA Vine, Thurrock’s community activist and plus-size model for leading British curvy fashion company Scarlett & Jo, is opening a new lingerie business with the help of Essex Innovation Programme, a regional business development agency, funded mainly from the EU, which supports start ups and established businesses in Essex. Thanks to the support Ella has developed an innovative lingerie product, which will be on the market this summer.
Ella said: ‘’I come from a tailor’s family. My grandma was a great tailor and I have been designing and making clothes for leisure for some time. The idea for the innovative lingerie and hosiery product was in my head for a very long time until, last year, I decided to seek business support to get the idea off the ground. I have received great help from NWES and from Essex Innovation Programme (EIP), which supplied fantastic business & industry mentors, training and other support.
"I have been developing this product since June last year, and after a year, the prototype is finally ready. The EIP helped enormously mainly with the motivation to get me through to the end of this project, as it wasn’t easy – I have never done anything like this before! Next month I am taking this product to crowdfunding, as it is an invention and it may revolutionise the lingerie and hosiery industry. I would have never thought that I will be an inventor, but here I am – thanks to the support of the EIP, which is funded mainly from the EU. This has encouraged me into other plans, as I have had ideas for more innovative products for a long time.
It is great that we have help from EIP and funding from the EU to help us achieve our dreams. For me it was a leap into unknown and going out of my comfort zone, but I did it and now, at the end of this phase, I feel happy and proud. It was worth doing and I would encourage anyone with any ideas to use the opportunities and ask for help that is out there and to reach for the stars – because it is possible’’.