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WATCH: Fashion designer Orla Kiely gave the Northern Scot her top three tips for women in business as she attended the Moray Business Women Conference in Elgin


By Rachel Smart

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A globally-known fashion designer was in Elgin yesterday, as the guest speaker at Moray Business Women Conference.

Orla Kiely OBE is known for her handbags, homeware, accessories and giftware, with houses up and down the country lined with her ‘stem’ print wallpaper.

Her name is her brand, which has grown enormously from modest beginnings selling hats in the early nineties to now having a range of lines with her signature vintage 1970s-inspired prints.

In a Q&A session with her friend and colleague, Heather Metcalfe, Ms Kiely provided delegates from Moray and the Highlands with an insight into what it is like to run a global fashion house.

We got a chance to ask Ms Kiely what her three top tips were for women in business.

She said: “First - always trust your own instincts, it's very important.

“Second, say no if you don’t want to do something. It’s as important as saying yes.

"And three is - don’t compromise.”

Alongside her husband Dermot, Ms Kiely has navigated various challenges in the business world, having closed her retail stores in 2018 they moved online and were able to excel throughout the pandemic.

Her plan now is to keep on going with the brand that people know and love.

“My plan is to keep doing what we’re good at and hopefully we’ll continue to grow”, she said to the female entrepreneurs in the Q&A session.

“As long as we have our brand and the product - that’s what people are looking for.

“We are doing what we love.”


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