Girl power: helping families through fashion from Innovation Boulevard
When you start something new, you can’t be afraid to take chances. And what Taylor Byrom is starting is not only new, but life-changing for families around the world. At the heart of Surrey’s budding Innovation Boulevard, Byrom is breaking ground personally, professionally and fashionably in KPU’s brand new space at the Health Tech Innovation Centre.
As the hub’s inaugural resident, Byrom finds herself surrounded by industry-leading researchers and other innovators in the health and technology sectors. Though her education in KPU’s Wilson School of Design’s fashion design and technology program makes her residency at the hub unique, what Byrom is planning to launch in the fall of 2015 incorporates health needs and technology in a new and exciting way. jolie hart, the line Byrom started as a fourth-year student before graduating in 2013, is a collection of clothes for young girls ages two to five who are affected by complex care medical needs, from wheelchair dependency, to sensory processing disorders, to feeding tubes.
To date, Byrom, the owner and creative director of TAYLORHART.DESIGNS has had a strong international interest in her idea, from Langley to London. After involving families in the developmental and product testing phase, Byrom will begin producing her line for distribution as a one-woman show. It’s the concept of designing with a purpose, for a purpose, that Byrom honed at KPU. A Langley resident, she made the big decision in early 2015 to quit her design job, and dedicate 100% of her time to jolie hart.
Through PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs, Byrom lends her entrepreneurial spirit to young students interested in bringing their own game-changing ideas to life. Byrom has spent time with a young class, sharing her own story and offering feedback on product development, marketing and e-commerce. A project-based learning program, PowerPlay is delivered in local schools across the region over the course of six weeks to youth in Grades 3-8. The students each prepare business plans and create products to sell at PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs trade show.
As a recent grad, Byrom and jolie hart’s successes to date are just beginning. Currently she is focused on the line’s initial launch, its subsequent growth and meeting the demand for clothes that let young girls dress for their personality, and not their illness.
excerpt from Kwantlen Polytechnic University Accountability Plan and Report 2014/2015 read the full report here: http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/Institutional%20Analysis%20and%20Planning/Accountability%20Report%202014%2015%20FINAL%20July%2015_0.pdf