Mark is a 27-year-old business student at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College. He has Mild Cerebral Palsy and has decided to start his own fashion business to inspire everyone and raise awareness of the ability in disability.
In the summer of 2018, I saw an advert for the Ipswich Innovate Centre (IWIC) so I applied to bring my business idea to life. I wanted to inspire people from all walks of life. My original ideas are the ideas I have used today, thanks to the help of the Arts and Graphic students of the University of Suffolk. The students followed a brief I gave them – these included images to inspire everyone and to support disabilities in a good way, suggesting why we should talk about disabilities more, because there is ability in disabilities.
I decided to start my own brand because of my own disability and learning difficulties, after finding learning in high school difficult and leaving with my expected grades (not that great). This was until I started Access to Higher Education, moving on to a business degree programme where I have been given a platform to show what I am capable of. I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me and seen my potential.
The reason I felt that representing a disability would be a good thing is because throughout my life, I have overcome difficulties of my own within education and the work place. This really inspired me because there might be people who are in the same position, shy of opening about how their own disability affects them on a daily basis. I would say the ethos behind what I am trying to achieve, is to show that regardless of your situation you can achieve anything. Sometimes people may need extra help however no one can go through life without needing any help.
I have always believed in keeping the design process simple, as mentioned I am very lucky to have help from some fantastic students who are currently in the process of bringing my ideas to life (hopefully ready by the end of April). In the future I would like my brand to have a positive impact and inspire generations of people to be positive and follow their dreams.