As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we are focusing on a number of USW graduates who have turned their interests into a thriving business.
Carys Ward is a final year BA (Hons) Fashion Design student at the University of South Wales (USW), and won a place on an
accelerated graduate programme for entrepreneurs at the University.
The ‘Launch Accelerator’ is a 16-week programme delivered by USW’s Student Enterprise Team. It gives selected graduates opportunities for mentoring, testing products or services, networking, and a salary replacement.
During the pandemic, Carys set up
her own business ‘Carys Ward’ making
She said: “When the pandemic started, I had to leave my work placement in London and move back to Wales. I couldn’t get another placement so took matters into my own hands. I started off making facemasks. I wanted to make them a bit more stylish and sustainable.
“I have always had a passion for
accessories. I love items that can transform a look and add more depth and
“It was really challenging as there was so much to do in the beginning. I was making everything myself, doing all the photography, social media, etc. My family have been so supportive. When I first started making the facemasks they would be help me to package up parcels for despatch.
“I applied for the Launch
Accelerator Programme as it was the perfect opportunity to grow my business,
develop new products and seek advice. The support from the team has been incredibly
beneficial. Especially the one-to-one mentoring. The funding has allowed me to conduct
further market research and to develop new products and packaging.
“It has also been great having the
opportunity to network and work alongside other business owners. This
opportunity has also allowed me to continue designing in Wales.”
Carys has since expanded her product
line to include handbags, card holders, and other luxury accessories:
“It is much easier now as I don’t
make all the products myself. I design tech packs and send them to
manufacturers overseas. I’d like to add belts and jewellery to the line
eventually. My dream is to have my products stocked in shops across the country,”