Sophie Perkins

(BA Illustration, 2021)

Name of Business: Sage Against the Machine


Description of business/ freelance opportunity:

Hand-made ethical clothing brand.

Why have you chosen to set up this business venture?

Having spent the last few years learning about sustainability, veganism and the impact of fast fashion on the planet, myself and my business partner felt compelled to start up my own slow-fashion brand to combat places like Shein and Primark. The main goal being to educate people on how fast fashion impacts the planet and offering a variety of goods from clothing and jewellery to homeware.

How did you find out about the LAUNCH Accelerator Programme?

Through Richie in the USW Stiwdio, who I'd been introduced to at my graduation ceremony.

Why did you apply for the LAUNCH Accelerator Programme?

To get the opportunity to leave my job as a barista and be able to focus solely on the business and getting it up and running in time for spring/summer 2023.

How has the LAUNCH Accelerator Programme helped you with your business venture?

Launch has given me the financial stability to have the time and space to invest into my business. I've been able to purchase equipment, rent a studio space, network with so many amazing creatives which has expanded my community, and I have had the support of some great tutors along the way.

What challenges have you faced?

As an undiagnosed neurodivergent woman, I've always struggled with education and routines. I've found it difficult to keep the momentum going as I often get really passionate about lots of things at once and get too overwhelmed with ideas to be able to start putting them into fruition.

What support have you received that you have found beneficial?

Compared to when I was at university, I've found the tutors and coaches are really kind and supportive and will always treat you like an equal, offering any help that they can whenever you need it without being too much of an ask. Tillie has been great help as a business coach, to be able to book in meetings in the Cardiff campus Stiwdio between Newport sessions has been really helpful however I wish I'd done it more frequently on reflection as the time passes quicker than you realise!

What advice do you have for final year students and fellow graduates?

Apply, apply, apply! I'd left it too late initially after procrastinating whether to apply or not, as the business was basically starting from the ground up so I didn't have much to show them product/business wise. But Richie called me up and told me to apply as the deadline had been extended, which let to an interview where the LAUNCH team loved my idea and accepted me to be part of the 3rd cohort!

For more information, contact the Graduate Support Team on: [email protected]