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Kate Walton, 28

Owner, Havetolove, Newcastle

Starting out with a wholesale bag collection took Kate Walton into the world of independent retailing – and the opening of her own store Havetolove in Newcastle in September 2006. “As the [bag] collection grew I thought that I needed somewhere to showcase it, and I knew that there was a niche in Newcastle for the shop I envisaged.” A degree in fashion marketing helped, together with the support of the Prince’s Trust, Business Link, Project North East and the Arts Council. Havetolove opened to acclaim – Walton took the Best New Business Award at the Drapers awards in 2007 and was also named as Grazia magazine Enterprise of the Year.

Havetolove launched online in 2007, and has recently been relaunched with a new look. Walton says: “I love what I do and it is wonderful to have returning customers who like to buy in my shop. That loyalty is wonderful.”

Walton continues: “I’m lucky because my family is in business so I have people around me who can help, but it is really important to have a mentor. You have got to be prepared to work hard to achieve your dream.” 

Walton plans to relaunch her bag collection for wholesale later this year.

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