Taylor Yates is a brand very personal to Karen and her daughter, Ellen.

Karen grew up in Lancashire in the North of England, and thought she was destined to work for other people, but her life has taken her from Warrington to London to Northern Ireland and from working for a large manufacturing company to running a family business.

Karen realised that her Nana, Alice Wells, had showed her another way. Alice started in service in Yorkshire in the 1920’s but went on to run 2 or 3 businesses from her home. Karen spent every summer there as children and sometimes she accompanied her on buying trips to the wholesalers, Mr Leeman’s in Manchester. She was tenacious as well as being fiercely independent and Karen hopes to have inherited some of her hard-working northern grit.

It takes determination, resilience and a lot of hard work to be in any business today and Karen was reminded of the strong Lancashire women that guided her and gave her the freedom to choose. The bags are fittingly named after those great women in my family.

So how did Karen get here, a t-shirt business, a lecture in ethics in marketing, a changing world where people need brands need to be more transparent. The realisation that Karen was looking for something that was missing in the market. A conversation with Ellen, and the design of the first bag.