British designer Hayley Miller will launch her first handbag collection next month. A debut launch is worth celebrating for any designer, but it's even more remarkable in Miller's case as until last summer, she was homeless.
Miller left her family home at the tender age of 15 when her parents urged her to quit school and find employment. She resisted and continued with her education from a hostel inhabited by drug addicts. When she wasn’t studying she spent time drawing and designing the handbags she hoped would land her a BTEC in fashion design.
Last summer, Miller left the hostel and moved in with her grandmother. Armed with 55 handbag designs, she researched the steps required to launch her own line.
"I did accounting courses, a Prince's Trust course, then I wrote an 18-page 'to do' list to start up your own business," she explained to The Sun.
She found the right manufacturer and an investor, and soon Hayley Miller Designs Ltd began to take shape. Luxury online store Bag Servant has already signed on to sell her bags, and Selfridges is also showing interest.
Hayley Miller's story just goes to show that you can achieve anything with talent and drive, no matter where you're starting from. Here's hoping her handbags take off in Britain and beyond!