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Northumbria student’s skiwear start-up features in influential fashion magazine

9th January 2023

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A Northumbria University entrepreneur is setting trends on the slopes with the launch of her own fashion forward skiwear brand, with female empowerment at its heart.

Entrepreneurial Business Management student Renée Fraser-Shepherd recently launched Sloobie Skiwear, a revolutionary brand designed for women and the only skiwear on the market which uses Integrated Shapewear technology.

Women no longer need to compromise their personal style to get comfortable, high-quality skiwear. Renée’s designs have been created to be timeless fashion pieces, setting a clear boundary between fast fashion, and becoming a staple in women’s wardrobes which can be restyled year-on-year.

Having only launched in December 2022, Sloobie has already been noticed by Glamour Magazine, having been mentioned in their ‘complete guide to women’s ski clothes’ .

Northumbria University student, Renee Fraser-Shepherd - Founder and CEO of Sloobie SkiwearSpeaking to Renée, she said: “I’m incredibly proud of what I have achieved in such a short space of time, especially being recognised by Glamour! It was important to me that not only did my brand solve a problem for women, but it addressed societal issues.

“Sloobie is committed to empowering women and increasing ethical standards, which is why all our imagery will show women as they are. Unfiltered. We are honest and transparent about beauty and want women to feel confident in their skiwear. Which also means giving them more options to express themselves and be excited about their clothing, just as they would be when they’re picking outfits for a Summer holiday”.

Renée has received support and guidance from Northumbria and beyond, through investment pitches to The Willan Charitable Trust, to coaching from Julie Blackie – the owner and Managing Director of Newcastle-based business, Pink Boutique.

Commenting on the support she has received, Renée said: “Having business mentors within the University as well as successful entrepreneurs like Julie Blackie has helped me to shape my business model. Julie has taught me incredible lessons and guided me towards the most efficient routes to take when launching a business.

“Northumbria is ahead of the curve, understanding how practical learning pushes you further forward. I understand what skills I have, my strengths and my weaknesses. I already feel ahead of the game, before graduating”.

Students on Northumbria's innovative Entrepreneurship undergraduate programme develop and run a business to enhance their learning, in a practical coaching led environment. Associate Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy, Sam Clegg, said: “Renée has thrown herself into everything our entrepreneurship degree has to offer! She’s taken opportunities to network with real entrepreneurs, undertaken and led coaching sessions, pitched successfully for investment, and has made excellent use of all the additional support and external mentoring that the Student and Graduate Enterprise Team provides.

“We’re all so proud of the journey so far – building an idea from concept, through samples and prototyping, and now on to full production and a national launch.”

Renée is in her final year at Northumbria, where Sloobie was imagined and brought to life. After two successful pitches to The Willan Charitable Trust, who invest in student and graduate enterprises and in turn supports the regional economy, Renee secured a total of £3,500 to help cover marketing costs.

Renée has also been supported through the Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support 2 (NEBS2) scheme. Available to businesses in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, NEBS2 provides a package of services to enhance the competitiveness and growth of SMEs, and to support the creation of new graduate enterprises. 

Businesses who are looking at ways to recruit highly skilled interns, are encouraged to apply via our website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/NEBS

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