A University of Brighton fashion graduate has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring fashion and hi vis safety wear to the world of horse riding.
Danielle Reynolds, who graduated with a BA(Hons) Fashion with Business Studies last year, is a 24-year-old entrepreneur who has already made her mark by winning the Barclays New Business Award at the 2016 Graduate Fashion Week, taking second prize in the 2017 Santander University of Brighton Ideas Competition, and launching her own company DVR Equestrian in Seaford, East Sussex.
The Kickstarter campaign, inviting backers to join her venture, is halfway to her £10,000 goal. Her site displays her debut collection ‘Style VIS’ for equestrians and also for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Danielle, a keen horse rider, said: “My brand offers premium, stylish men’s and women’s equestrian-wear incorporating sportswear fabrics and high-visibility designs.
“My vision is to encourage riders, particularly the younger generation which often avoids wearing high-visibility wear for aesthetic reasons, to wear hi-vis clothing that is essential to their safety by offering a stylish alternative to the safety-wear currently on the market.
“High-visibility clothing is crucial for riders on the road and for off-road riders. They give any passer-by the opportunity to spot the rider sooner, giving them longer to prepare to pass, to put a dog on their lead, to slow a bicycle down or gather children.
“Designs such as the performance tops, rider’s sweatshirt, neck fleeces and hat silks are made in-house here in Sussex. I plan to move production of these over to the Portugal factory once the brand grows, but for now with a low budget and having the skills I’ve learnt from the University to manufacture my own designs, they are produced here by me with the help of my amazing nan, who sews in all of the labels!
“My degree has been extremely beneficial – I now feel that I can work and act as a professional and am comfortable to begin working in the industry that I love. The business part of the degree was particularly useful in final year, being able to leave university with a professional business plan covering the first three years of business is going to be incredible useful to me.”
Danielle is supported by beepurple, the University of Brighton’s entrepreneurship support service for students and graduates. For more information, go to: www.beepurple.co.uk.