Assil pursued her love for fashion and textiles by creating an affordable, elegant silk scarf business after suffering from depression. The Trust helped her get the start-up help she needed.
25 year-old Assil Skaiky came to the UK with her family aged 11 from her native Lebanon, settling in South Wales where she still lives today.
Assil has always been interested in the fashion industry, so knew that was where she wanted to build a career, but didn’t always have the easiest time. Having suffered terribly from depression she sometimes found it hard to focus, but by concentrating on her love of the Fashion and Textiles degree she chose to study she was able to find strength through her passion.
After finishing university, like many new graduates, Assil found it hard to find work in the industry she longed to be a part of. “I had my degree, but I didn’t feel like any of the roles I took on really allowed me to use it and my creativity to its full potential,” Assil explains. “I spent nearly two years unemployed, but used this time to research the kind of work I was really keen to build a career in.”
It was around this time that she came across The Prince’s Trust and their Enterprise scheme supported by Natwest via the internet. “The Enterprise scheme was amazing, they provided me all the start-up help I needed. From the basics of starting a business and the pros and cons of self-employment, through to the business plan and financial help. I also received a mentor for a year who was great.”
Having received a small grant and a low-interest loan Assil was able to build herself a website and in September 2016 launched her eponymous range of 100% silk scarves. The prints come from her own drawings and are inspired by nature, travel and freedom. The brand is about providing affordable elegance, a touch of luxury at an achievable price.
Having successfully launched her first collection Assil has big plans for the future, drawing on her experience from her former 9-5 job as an active wear designer she has plans to expand into more products. “I want to produce a full womenswear range, sell pieces internationally and be involved in global fashion weeks. That’s the big plan.” But it’s looking like her next foray will be into swimwear, after a sample bikini she made and wore on holiday this year had numerous people asking her where they could get one like it.
“If it wasn’t for The Prince’s Trust I would probably be stuck in a dead end job I have no passion for. Over the years I have suffered from depression, abuse and debt and it would be very likely that I would be depressed again as I wouldn’t have found my purpose in life. The Trust allowed me to find what I will be living for and support me in my aim of making the Assil Skaiky brand globally known.”