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WHAT'S UP WEDNESDAY: Bradford native brings clients ideas to life at Ivory River Design

Bradford native launches new business creating custom apparel for clients

What started out as a DIY project creating her own wedding decorations has turned into a side business for Bradford native Carlie Nolan, who launched Ivory Ridge Design last year, offering a variety of customized items from apparel to vinyl decals. 

“My fiancé surprised me with the (vinyl cutting) machine and I bought all the other materials to start practising. Eventually, I had so many items made that I didn’t know what I would do with it all. And that’s when I started selling products," she explained. 

Nolan says she can create “just about anything", and feels consistently inspired by her customer's ideas. She finds it rewarding to see the piece come together from a customer's description to the final product. 

Her favourite thing to design is key chains.

“It is always so fascinating to see what people want on them and to bring their ideas to life,” she said. 

Her bestsellers are crewneck sweaters.

“I find crewnecks are most versatile and can be worn in the dead of winter or around a summer campfire," she said. 

In the last year, Nolan says she has learned a lot about running a small business, and that good advertising is key.  At the summer markets she attended last year, she was able to network with fellow business owners and potential clients, which she says is very important.

She hopes in the future she can attend more markets locally, and out of town, to reach a larger audience. 

After starting her small business, Nolan has learned a lot about the creative market she works in.

Her advice to anyone looking to get into the maker field is to get involved, and not to shy away from competition.

“I was so on the fence starting my business because the market was so saturated. But after doing a few markets it was easy to see that everyone specializes in their product and each customer has their style that you may tailor to," she said. 

When she's not creating, she is working at her job as an educational assistant and studying for her degree in disability studies. 

To learn more about Ivory River Design, visit their website here or follow them on social media @ivory_river_design.