An entrepreneur from Northumbria University is setting trends on the ski slopes with the launch of her own ski wear fashion brand, with women’s 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 that uses Integrated Shapewear technology.
Women no longer have to compromise on their personal style to get comfortable, high-quality ski clothing. The Renée design was created as a timeless fashion piece, which sets a clear line between fast fashion and becomes an integral part of a woman’s wardrobe that can be changed from year to year.
Having only launched in December 2022, the Sloobie has already been noticed by Glamor Magazine, mentioning it in their ‘complete guide to women’s ski wear’.
Speaking to Renée, she said: “I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved in such a short time, especially being recognized by Glamour! It was important to me that my brand not only solved a problem for women, but that it addressed social issues.
“Sloobie is committed to empowering women and raising ethical standards, which is why all our images will show women as they are. Unfiltered. We are honest and transparent about beauty and want women to feel confident in their ski clothing. Which also means giving them more opportunities to express themselves and be excited about their clothes, just like they would be when choosing clothes for a summer holiday”.
Renée has received support and guidance from Northumbria and beyond, through investment in the Willan Charitable Trust, to coaching from Julie Blackie – owner and managing director of Newcastle-based Pink Boutique.
Commenting on the support she received, Renée said: “Having business mentors at the University as well as successful entrepreneurs like Julie Blackie helped me shape my business model. Julie taught me incredible lessons and guided me towards the most effective routes to take when starting a business.
“Northumbria is ahead of the curve, understanding how hands-on learning pushes you further forward. I understand what skills I have, what my strengths and weaknesses are. I already feel ahead of the game, before graduation”.
Students on Northumbria’s innovative undergraduate entrepreneurship program develop and run a business to enhance their learning, in an environment guided by practical training. Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategy, Sam Clegg, said: “Renée has thrown herself into everything our Entrepreneurship degree has to offer! She took advantage of opportunities to network with real entrepreneurs, undertook and delivered coaching sessions, successfully applied for investment and made excellent use of all the additional support and external mentoring provided by the Student and Graduate Entrepreneurship Team.
“We are all so proud of the journey so far – building the idea from concept, through samples and prototyping, and now to full production and national launch.”
Renée is in her final year in Northumbria, where Sloobie was conceived and brought to life. After two successful pitches to the Willan Charitable Foundation, which invests in student and graduate businesses and in turn supports the regional economy, Renee secured a total of £3,500 towards marketing costs.
Renée also received support through the Northumbria Enterprise and Business Support 2 (NEBS2) scheme. Available to businesses in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, NEBS2 provides a suite of services to increase the competitiveness and growth of SMEs and to support the creation of new graduate businesses.
Businesses looking for ways to recruit highly skilled apprentices are encouraged to apply via our website: www.northumbria.ac.uk/NEBS