By Pat Keogh
Eeh, bah gum! A Yorkshire lass has set up a fashion business in lockdown capitalising on colloquial sayings suggested by her nan.
Ami O’Hara, 20, from Rotherham, is the owner of MOHK by Ami and hand embroiders sayings like, ‘Did I ‘eckers like’ and ‘Reyt Nesh’, on clothes to sell on her website.
This is a family-oriented operation. Ami’s sister stencils the letters on items of clothing, her nan comes up with the sayings, Grandad writes the ‘thank you’ notes and her uncle does the photography.
Mum and Dad have also played their parts as they have bought equipment for her, including the machine for Christmas that inspired her to embroider each letter herself.
She says: “I am very much people orientated so I love that MOHK can bring groups of people together.”
The name MOHK is random and doesn’t mean anything. The O and the H are from her surname O’Hara.
Ami turned down the opportunity to study fashion at De Montfort University, but instead got a full time job at a print-on-demand company in Rotherham.
She works all day then comes home and sews until ‘daft o’clock’ in the morning. It takes around 30 minutes to embroider an item of clothing, depending on how long the phrase is.
MOHK customers take this into account when ordering items and understand it takes a few days to process and create the order. But there have been over 600 orders in the past year with zero complaints!
Ami has also benefited from the pandemic online shopping boom and she’s spread the word via social media.
“Instagram has been a great tool to promote MOHK because people share their purchases on their stories and tag the Instagram page meaning that there is a constant flow of new followers which leads to more orders.”
But it has not all been smooth sailing, Ami had difficulty at the beginning of the first lockdown when suppliers shut down meaning there was no stock. Also, due to government guidelines, there have been no photoshoots for a few months meaning it was difficult to launch and promote new designs.
However this didn’t stop MOHK from promoting the new spring range as she used the power of social media to ask ambassadors and customers to model the new range with a home photoshoot, which turned out to be a very successful.
Ami hopes that one day she will be able to afford her own unit and staff.
But for now, all income is re-invested into new machines meaning that less time will be spent on each item subsequently meaning the ordering process is quicker.
Ami says: “My advice for anyone to start a business is just DO IT! Download Planoly (it plans your posts and schedules them to post for you on both Facebook and Instagram). It’s an absolute lifesaver! Also, if your business is Fashion get the Fashionpedia Business Manual. It helps so much with creating a name, logo and even sorting your books.”
If MOHK can survive a global pandemic it can survive anything thrown its way!