A decade on, empowerment is still in fashion

Clothes and accessories brand celebrates reaching a milestone

Friday, 29th April — By Ellie Crabbe

Tricia (2nd from left)

Diva Choice is now hoping to begin a full clothing line

A WOMEN’S fashion and accessories brand based in the borough is celebrating 10 years of trading.

After a series of redundancies and the death of her brother, Tricia Blake, founder of Diva Choice, was in a difficult situation.

“In 2012, I was struggling with stress and grieving the loss of my brother. I was taking long hot baths to relieve my stress and I got thinking about how women never take time for themselves,” she said. “So often we take care of everyone’s needs but our own.”

Ms Blake started her business Diva Choice and began by making luxury bath products.

In the past 10 years, they have made a variety of different products and now Ms Blake predominantly sells jewellery and swimwear.

Diva Choice has been supported by Islington Council with an affordable workspace in Durham Road and a rent-free stockist on Fonthill Road called the FC Designer Collective, where various local brands stock their products.

Ms Blake said: “We only pay commission on our sales, and as a small business this kind of support is a huge help.”

Tricia Blake founded the business after the death of her brother

Caroline Wilson, director of inclusive economy at Islington Council, said: “Tricia’s commitment to encouraging other female entrepreneurs and providing opportunities for local residents means that she is a local business that gives back to her community.”

After suffering with alopecia, Ms Blake created jewelled headdresses to encourage women to embrace their hair loss rather than trying to hide it.

Rather than hiring professional models, Diva Choice instead photograph their products on women from the community.

Ms Blake said: “We have seen the success of this in our sales. Women have told us that seeing women that look like them in these campaigns makes them feel more confident. I am proud of our achievements.

“We have had pop-up shops in King’s Cross and Oxford Street and have worked with celebrities like Sinitta. We give back to the community by giving space to other female business owners at our events.”

So, what’s in store for the next decade? Ms Blake has hopes to begin a full clothing line, focusing on fashionable clothing which is size inclusive. “A lot has changed in the last 10 years. But our ethos has stayed the same. We want to empower women,” she said.

Diva Choice will be celebrating their first decade with a “Sip and Shop” event at the FC Designer Collective on Fonthill Road tomorrow (Saturday) from 12pm to 5pm.

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