In January 2017, over a cup of coffee at The University of Derby with Bev Crighton, Senior Lecturer on the Business Studies course, I came to know about Derby's Finest. An initiative formed by four successful ladies in their respected fields who wanted to celebrate and support women who make a positive contribution to the city. What a lovely concept, I thought!


As we chit chatted away Bev asked if I would consider designing a scarf for the organisation and suggested that a donation from every sale could go to their chosen charity, Prostrate Cancer. Of course, I was both delighted and honoured! Firstly by the thought of designing a fabulous new scarf for this excellent organisation which focusses on strong women (something that I am very passionate about) and secondly, as I would be helping Prostrate Cancer UK and therefore so many men who suffer from this all around the world.

Picture courtesy of ACJ Media

The design breif was very open with the only requirement being Derby's Finest' colours, purple and lilac. Of course I knew that sticking to two colours would  be a challenge especially as someone that specifically uses digital printing as it allows me to utilise millions of colours and so I did throw in some (cheeky) fuscia's and peaches. In terms of design, the ladies gave me free reign to be as creative as I desired and therefore I felt passionate about designing a peice that could be uniquely identifiable as Derby's Finest' scarf whilst staying true to my brand which is about pattern, colour and ornamentation.


Picture courtesy of The Derby Telegraph

It was an exciting project and we were all delighted with the final design. The scarf was launched at Derby's Finest's first event held at Derby College's Engine Shed restaurant at the Roundhouse, Pride Park. Here fifty women attended a three course lunch whilst listening to a presentation about Derby's Finest and it's purpose. Something that April Hayhurst said which really resonated was that, “There are so many unsung heroines in our city and our pledge is to seek these women out, recognise their value and to celebrate their outstanding support and selfless contributions that have had an impact on people’s lives – whether that is to an individual, a business, an organisation or a community". I found this to be so unique as it is about including all women regardless of social status and career acheivements. This comment really reinforces the heart and soul of this organisation.

From left: Amanda Strong, Claire Twells, Bev Crighton

Picture courtesy of ACJ Media

Derby's Finest scarf

The scarf was a huge success and flew out like hotcakes especially due to the imminent arrival of Mothers Day. We also generated a substantial donation for the charity. Going forward I will continue work with Derby's Finest and work hard to support Prostrate Cancer UK. The next event will be at Derby Cricket Ground this July which I am very much looking forward to.