“This is my future”: Rachel Launching Her New Business at Just 15 Years Old

Tue, 20/10/2020 - 09:12

At the age of just 15, Rachel Murray of EDC’s Transitional Development Service has started an exciting new business venture.

Rachels new brand – Predator Sportswear – offers unique specialist clothing for equestrian and other sports.

Rachel, from Chester le Street, told us: “I’ve been in the horse industry for about 9 years and I started off from a riding school. I worked my way up; eventually I decided that this is the right time to start my own business.”

“It’s something I’ve always thought about: I wanted to make something that wasn’t your standard Tesco item. I wanted it to be unique, fashionable, comfortable and affordable.”

Rachel’s a part of EDC’s Transitional Development Service, a part-time provision for those struggling with mainstream education. In Rachel’s case, it was a history of bullying at school that caused her to transition into the EDC’s TDS programme. “In about year 8 things went to go downhill.” Rachel said. “Over the next few years it got to the point where I got bullied. People in schools don’t recognise the hard work involved in equestrian. It was constant bullying and being picked on. I had a few rough years, but I’m finding things are starting to come together.”

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At Houghall and in the TDS programme, Rachel is studying at EDC’s state-of-the-art Houghall equine centre, where she can study a programme of education that’s not available in traditional mainstream education.

“When I ended up at Houghall,” continued Rachel, “I feel like I really do fit in because there’s people interested in the same things as me. It’s boosted my self-esteem.

“When I came to Houghall, I was very nervous because I thought I wouldn’t fit in. But actually, it wasn’t like that at all, there’s lots of people very similar to me. People here have been some of my top supporters, and now I’ve made new friends and am going back to school ready for my GCSEs.

The future looks bright for Rachel, who will take on formal ownership of her business this year: “I’ll be director when I’m 16. At the moment, I’ve designed it all and my brother has then taken it to the full product. My vision is maybe even setting up a shop and having stalls at shows. More stock, more base layers, keep improving everything, and hopefully be one of the top brands up there.”

With the support of EDC, Rachel’s enjoying a huge boost to her self-esteem. “This is my future: I’m taking a shot and I’m going to big shows. Even if I mess up I’ll still give it a go. No one cares if you fail or struggle, it’s all for experience. No one cares if you fall off, no one cares if your business fails. It’s all about getting experience."

If you’d like further details about studying Horse Care at East Durham College's Houghall Campus, please check out our Equine Courses or call 0191 375 4700.