About YoYo Textiles
YoYo Textiles was an award winning innovative textile design company which designed and produced collections of original and contemporary woven, hand-made silk neckties and fashion accessories for retail and corporate clients and also one-off commissions.
I closed the doors on YoYo Textiles back in 2004 and have since worked for a number of great fashion and retail companies; mainly in creative direction and sales.
I am now taking time to enjoy my family and in my spare time, as a full-time stay at home mum, I am thoroughly enjoying creating 3D silk fabric artworks, using my original YoYo Textiles designs and fabrics, which I make by hand.
YoYo was established in November 1999 by ‘Me’, a Nottingham Trent Graduate, Joanna Marshall (aka: Joanna Walkley) with the support of the Prince’s Trust and Nottinghamshire Business Venture.
While finishing my last year at university, I realised that there was a gap in the market for good quality, innovative ties towards the upper end of the market.
Despite several attractive job offers for posts in corporate design teams, I was convinced that self-employment was the only suitable vehicle for me to fulfill my dreams. I spent over a year researching markets and suppliers, and to refine design ideas before launching YoYo Textiles.
In order to fund among other things, the buying-in of my woven designs, and the finished ties, I needed start-up capital. I approached The Prince’s Trust which gave me sources of advice for the preparation of a Business Plan. Once I was accepted, the Trust and NBV (Nottinghamshire Business Venture) supplied plenty of training in financial and other skills, and The Trust provided a mentor to encourage and guide me during the crucial initial period and the development of my business. I am forever grateful for their support of both me and other young people.
During my YoYo days, I won the contract to design the F.A.Premier League Ties; both the 10th year anniversary tie as well as totally re-designing their on-going club ties. It was incredibly exciting both designing the ties and also presenting my final designs to both HRH Prince Charles and Richard Schudamore (the Chief Executive of the F.A.P.L) at St.James’ Palace, back in August 2002.
I also received ‘The Institute of Directors Award for Creative Industries’ at the Shell LiveWIRE UK finals; of which I won the ‘Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Midlands Award’ the previous year and went on to become one of 11 UK finalists. The proceeding year I was asked back to be a judge at both regional and final level, which was really exciting.
I was also lucky enough to have been voted one of the UK’s Top 100 most talented designers, under the auspices of Design Nation. I was in the company of such names as Ron Arad, Jasper Morrison, Wendy Ramshaw and Squigee Textile Design.
Other awards include the ‘Focal Point Award’ for Innovation, Professional Design and Marketing Excellence; the ‘Joan King Award’ to commemorate the life and work of the late Joan King who was both a member of the Soroptimist International and a director of the Nottingham Lace Centre and was also highly commended at ’The Prince’s Trust & The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Business Awards’.
The prestigious outlets that YoYo Textiles previously supplied included: Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty’s in London, Jenners of Edinburgh, James Bell of Nottingham, John Lewis, Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Landmark in Marlow, Anthony’s in Cambridge and Ian Monroe in Surrey; among others throughout the UK.
The inspiration for YoYo’s tie designs came from the interplay of buildings through their reflections, form and structure. These were developed into new, abstract designs which were then translated to woven fabric using silk and silk/ wool/ linen yarn mixtures producing unusual, subtle textures.
For example, one of my spring / summer collections was based on my interpretation of the different architecture within New York City; “I was invited there back in ‘August 2000’ by the Crafts Council to exhibit at the International Gift Fair and whilst there sketched designs based on the architecture around me”.
I truly loved my time as proprietor and designer of YoYo Textiles and with my continued passion for design, I hope you too will enjoy my new 3D silk fabric hand-made artworks.