The Person Behind the Brand – Katie Ellis
Katie Ellis is the founder of clothing company, The Able Label.
The Able Label’s clothes are not just any clothes. They are stylish – yes… comfortable – absolutely. However, what makes The Able Label different is that the discreet adaptive designs, innovative fastenings and hidden extras make dressing easier for those who have restricted movement or lack of finger dexterity.
Two key things happened in Katie’s life which led her to open The Able Label three years ago.
The first was her grandmother being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. As a very close family, this hit them hard and Katie wanted to do everything she could to support her grandmother in keeping her independence for as long as possible. Her grandmother explained to Katie how she hated her grandpa having to help her dress – feeling as if she’d lost her dignity.
Katie’s grandmother explained that she didn’t want to ‘give up’ and she was also not willing to sacrifice her style either. Clothing really was a big part of her identity and she did not want to lose this.
That got Katie thinking “there has to be something out there to help women with dressing difficulties who still want to maintain their style and identity”. There wasn’t.
So, Katie signed myself up for several business start-up courses and spent time asking people in a similar situation to her grandmother as well as those supporting her like healthcare professionals, exactly what they’d want and need from an easy-dress clothing range.
Katie worked in the retail world as a fashion buyer at White Stuff, London, at the time. So, she already had considerable experience in the fashion industry.
Soon after, the second event happened in Katie’s life. Katie’s mum had an accident which meant she would not be able to look after her nan who had vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Katie’s mother was the main carer for her nan. Katie decided that this was the right time to leave White Stuff and take on the role as carer for her nan whilst also pursuing her dream of starting a business that would help women like her grandmother.
As Katie developed the clothes she would often try new clothes on her grandmother to get her feedback. After asking whether she minded her doing so, her grandmother replied, “No dear, as long as you help one other person in the same situation as me, do what you have to do.”
Sadly Katie’s grandmother passed away three years ago, just before The Able Label launched but her grandmothers words still resonate with her as she helps one person at a time maintain their style and identity as well as independence and dignity.
We are so proud to be stocking a range of clothes from The Able Label and supporting Katie’s mission.