Katie Ellis imageDirector of The Able Label

What does your position involve?

Pretty much everything because we’re a small business and have to get stuck in with all the different areas. My job varies from setting the top line strategy for the business; ensuring targets are met; marketing the products; sourcing and developing clothing ranges; and trialling and testing all garments with customers before they are launched – this is really important and at the heart of everything we do.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Getting testimonials from customers, explaining what a difference our products make to them. That’s definitely the number one thing for me. One lady told us that she’d stopped going out to events because she was so worried that she wouldn’t be able to get her coat back on. But she bought one of our coats and told us that she’s able to go out again and it has enabled her to do more.

What is one of your proudest moments in the industry?

Leading the way as we’re very unique in what we’re doing. We are trailblazers because we are doing things that nobody has done before and we’re doing a good job of it as well. What we do makes a difference to people’s lives in an under-catered for area, clothing. We encourage independence and grow self-confidence.

What have you found challenging within the industry?

We are in both the healthcare industry and the fashion industry and because adaptive clothing is something that is new and different to both, it can be difficult encouraging shops to try something that they haven’t done before.

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Everyone has to get dressed in the morning, everyone has to get changed at night, so it’s a really important product area, but it’s not without difficulty. This is why we work closely with stockists, giving continuous support and guidance along the way.

If you could bring one new innovation to the market, what would it be?

This is a difficult one because innovation is what we’re all about. We’ve introduced Velcro-fastening bras, which is innovative because the current products available normally only have front poppers or they fasten at the back. So, our bras have made a big difference to people. We’re constantly trying to think of new ideas and work really closely with our customers and factories to think of those new ideas. In terms of bringing a new innovation to the market, that’s what we’re trying to do anyway with all our products.

What are your interests outside of work?

I like to do sport, I play tennis and netball, so that keeps me quite busy. I also enjoy shopping, fashion and clothes.

If you had to do any other job in the world, what would it be?

I don’t think I would. I previously worked in fashion as a buyer for White Stuff and could’ve continued my journey climbing that career ladder, but there isn’t the same job satisfaction level in doing that. What we’re doing is really helping people and I find that more rewarding than anything else.


Quick-fire questions

Describe yourself in three words

Innovative, hard-working, caring

What’s your favourite song?

Firework by Katy Perry. I often put it on to motivate me.

What was the last movie you watched?

The Polar Express.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

The ability to be in several places at once

Favourite place in the world

Whitstable Beach. It’s a special place to me as I got engaged there

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