Gemma's using her 'entrepreneurial side' is helping people with disabilities

HOME / / Gemma's using her 'entrepreneurial side' is helping people with disabilities

28-year-old Gemma founded adaptive clothing brand WearMatter as a way to use her creative superpowers for good.

When did you start your current business?
The ideas started flowing towards the end of 2020, at the start of 2021 I finally decided on the name of the business and began researching and sourcing. The middle of 2022 is really when I would say I ‘started’ the business.

Have you ever started a business before this one?
I have been self-employed in the past as a nail technician, so this may have been when I realised I had an entrepreneurial side!

What does your business do?
WearMatter designs and sells adaptive clothing products for people with disabilities, and without. My vision is to create a world where fashion is inclusive and accessible. By championing diversity and inclusivity in fashion, we can create a more equitable and compassionate society.

What were your motivations for starting a business of your own?
I wanted to bring about a big change, one that is necessary.

From a young age I have dreamt of being a fashion designer and having my own brand, but when I worked in the industry felt frustrated by the lack of creativity and the impact on people and our planet through unthoughtful designs.

The freedom of being my own boss is a huge motivator. I have never felt satisfied or been able to achieve what I wanted in any job that I have done in the past and always want more and feel I could deliver a lot more.

"I decided: rather than work for an organisation that undervalues me, why not do this for myself?!"

Is WearMatter your main source of income, a side-hustle, or one of several income streams?
I’m focussing a lot of time on WearMatter at the moment and the goal is to soon be able to apply all my time to it, but I do also have a part-time job at the moment.

What’s different about your business?
I care! I believe that every person matters and I want to make a real impact, designing for a reason and using my creativity and skills in a good way.

WearMatter is not just a clothing brand, but a movement that strives to create a positive impact on the world. I want to empower people to feel confident and comfortable in their own skin, to feel good about themselves, to have options and to be included.

What inspired your business idea?
I am pretty sure every single person has struggled, at some point, to push buttons through stiff buttonholes! Or to close that tiny button with elastic at the back of your neck and have to ask someone else to help with it. Or when your hands are too cold to put a zip together and pull up the zipper! These things a hard enough when you don't have a disability.

What did you use your Start Up Loan for?
The Start Up Loan I received through Transmit Startups has allowed me to buy necessary materials, equipment, industrial machinery.

From buying threads, fabrics and components such as magnets to make our products, to having samples produced and digital patterns created.

Having that finance even helped with my website and some marketing.

"The loan has also allowed me to have a studio space where I have met multiple contacts and networked with many that have led to exciting opportunities."

What does the next chapter look like for WearMatter?
Lots of exciting stuff is happening! I have new products dropping, videos of how to adapt your existing clothing and I'll be sharing an opportunity for people to have clothing amended or altered for their bodies.

I'm hoping for some exciting collaborations with brands that align perfectly with our values and offer more inclusive, accessible, adaptive product options.

I'm very focused on raising awareness around disability and sharing knowledge. In the future, I have plans to use smart materials and wearable tech to create clothing that actually helps with health and disability.

Gemma's Transmit Startups Business Advisor was Victoria Milne.

Victoria said:

"Gemma is an inspiring young entrepreneur who is using her creativity to bring about social change.

I'm so pleased that Transmit Startups was able to support her with a Start Up Loan and it's been a pleasure to see her plans coming to fruition."

Amy Knight
Amy is a content writer specialising in entrepreneurship and finance. She has written many blogs for Transmit and for Smarta, as well as contributing to our digital communications strategy. Amy is the founder of Dottem & Crossem, a communications agency based in Buckinghamshire, and is the author of the 2021 children’s book ‘There’s Two Of Us Now’.

"We’re delighted to be the 2000th loan recipients!"


Money Lent

£ 178,219,784

Entrepreneurs Backed

Find out how much you can borrow with our Start Up Loans Calculator