Jennifer’s smart business moves

Jennifer Lane inside of her shop in Raby Road
Jennifer Lane inside of her shop in Raby Road

A 22-YEAR-OLD woman is beating the jobless trend after opening up her own dancewear business,

Jennifer Lane used her savings to set up Gotta Dance Dancewear, in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

The Owton Manor resident, who has been dancing since she was 18 months old, saw a gap in the market to provide dancewear to the north of Hartlepool and beyond.

Jennifer’s success story comes just days after the Mail reported that Hartlepool has the highest proportion of jobless young people in the country.

Almost one in five people aged between 18 and 25 in the town claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance last month.

Hartlepool has 1,425 people in the age group claiming the benefit, which tops the national table at 17.1 per cent of all 18 to 25-year-olds in the town, and is a rise of 75 between July and August.

Jennifer, who has attended the Watson Academy of Dance since she was seven, said: “From leaving school I either wanted to be a dance teacher or have my own business selling dancewear but I broke my foot last year.

“I had a year off and thought I can do this and could be a teacher later.

“It’s a shame about the jobless figures.

“If the opportunities were there a lot more people would have the chance to do what I have done.

“There’s no funding there either.

“But a lot of people want things to happen straight away, it does take time.”

Former English Martyrs and St Theresa’s school student Jennifer has been saving up since she was 18 and ploughed the money into opening up the business, which was formerly Housing Hartlepool offices.

She enlisted the help of her mum, Michelle Lane, 42, uncle Michael Lane, 40, grandmother Louise Lane, 65, boyfriend Alan Oliver, 26, and family friend Brian Kingston to help do out the shop.

Jennifer got support from Business Link and went on a five-week basic business course.

While looking for a suitable premises, she contacted various suppliers.

The shop has now been open for two months and is going from strength to strength.

“It’s doing really well, I’ve been making profits already,” said Jennifer.

“There are other shops in Hartlepool that do this type of thing.

“But I try to order every week and the others are over the other side of town, so I can cater for people from places like the Headland and Clavering.”

The shop sells dancewear including leotards, shoes, dress bags and kit bags and Jennifer’s mum can make dresses to buy.

It sells various brands, including Pineapple, Bloche, Capezio and 1st Position.