From PA to business owner

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By Laura Coote, Director, Black Edge Style 

Do you have a 100 fashion ideas but you’re never quite sure if you have the confidence to put yourself out there?

PA Life spoke with Laura Coote, Director at Black Edge Style who is here to tell you, you can, you should and once you do, you’ll feel amazing …

“My name is Laura Coote and I am the founder of Black Edge Style, we are an online ladies clothing store specialising in business wear. Our mission is very clear, to enable women to dress with style and confidence.

In my previous life, I worked as a PA at a Wealth Management Company in Manchester. I took time out in 2017 to have my children, I had three babies in two years, how is that possible you may ask! Well, we were blessed with twins. I went from super-efficient and organised PA to navigating the world of being a Mum! It was an overwhelming feeling of joy, pride, anxiety, nerves and panic! Thankfully, some of my PA skills helped me through, the main one was organisation! Feeding time, nap times, washing, food prep, etc. they all became a military operation.

I did all this whilst working for my husband’s sound business from the spare bedroom.

I’ve learned a lot about myself whilst navigating the last three years and one thing that stood out was a burning desire to start my own business. However, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what that would be. I took the time to think through my ideas, I really focused on where my passions lie and what my skills are.

I have always loved fashion and style, it’s just in me and more so I absolutely love helping others and watching them thrive. Being a PA, we are the backbone of helping others achieve their personal and business goals. We are the action takers, the driving force behind the ideas, and the implementors, all whilst maintaining a calm exterior and having a pleasant smile for all. In my experience I put everyone else’s career path ahead of my own, I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, however, I believe there is a balance that I could have managed more effectively.

When I left the corporate world I realised that I hadn’t pushed myself forward to achieve some of my own career goals. Our passion to help our peers maintain their corporate goals and climb the career ladder sometimes can hinder our own.

Black Edge Style was born

When I started the journey of setting up Black Edge Style, I went into an industry that was completely unknown to me but with my skills and passion, I knew that I was unstoppable. I spent six – eight months researching the industry, finding suppliers, getting to know my ideal client, and giving the imposter syndrome the brush off.

I launched Black Edge Style in October and it has been a fantastic, whirlwind, filled with a deep sense of accomplishment. I’ll be honest it was a risky idea to carry on with the launch when we were in the midst of a global pandemic. However, I knew that now was my time and a global pandemic wasn’t going to stop me. I was realistic, I knew it would slow me down but that’s ok. Rather than focusing solely on sales targets, I have used the last few months to build my audience and get the business name out there. I am present daily on Facebook and Instagram; I use LinkedIn more and more and my connections are fantastic. My network is growing by the hour and we are going into 2021 in a strong position.  If you can launch and grow a business during these uncertain times my theory is it can only get better, this is what I tell myself every day, I believe in the business, I believe in our mission and I believe in myself.

One side of the business concept we’ve had to put on hold is our Bespoke Pop-Up Service, we aim to bring sample collections to the workplace, networking and charity events to allow you to get a feel for the collections! We are looking forward to being able to implement this in 2021 and can’t wait to get the chance to come and meet you all and allow you to try our style pieces.

Black Edge Style offers a personal service to ladies who want to show up in style looking and feeling amazing. We want ladies to find their own authentic style and have the ability to show their personality through how they dress. We believe in versatility, so all our collections are thought through with this in mind, allowing you to go from the school run to zoom meeting, office to home, and day to night. We offer pieces that are bold in style, using bright colours to reflect our personalities.

We also focus on comfort, it’s an important part of the confidence journey, if we feel good in how we look and we are comfortable it allows our confidence to shine through which can only ever be a good thing.

I’ve had many conversations with people who believe the corporate world has gone forever, this is not something I believe. I know the importance of the office environment, the skills we learn from each other when we work as part of a team, I know the importance of showing up in a professional and presentable manner. In fact, I have started a blog, it’s a monthly blog and covers topics surrounding the current situation we are facing in the corporate world, “How to dress for Zoom Success”, “Zoom Etiquette” and Januarys blog is around “The Importance of Office Learning and Banter”!

I truly believe that with hard work, determination, and a real passion to succeed you can achieve anything. Why not take some time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2021, start making your own career plan, some of you may have already planned this out which is fantastic? Make sure you know what you are aiming for and plan to succeed. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and hopeful 2021 and I look forward to meeting you face to face next year.”


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