Ilkeston bridalwear entrepreneur wins national award

House of Oliver owner Katie Lyth with her enterprise award, television and radio presenter Nick Grimshaw and NatWests Andy Gray (left).
House of Oliver owner Katie Lyth with her enterprise award, television and radio presenter Nick Grimshaw and NatWests Andy Gray (left).

An Ilkeston bridal wear entrepreneur who endured a traumatic childhood has won a prestigious national award from a royal charity.

Katie Lyth, who owns the House of Oliver store on Bath Street, was named winner of the NatWest Enterprise Award at the Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx Celebrate Success Awards on Wednesday, March 15.

Youngsters from the Derby Team 175 employment initiative enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

Youngsters from the Derby Team 175 employment initiative enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

The 29-year-old collected the prize at a glamorous ceremony at the London Palladium, hosted by Ant and Dec, as HRH The Prince of Wales looked on.

She said: “Without The Prince’s Trust I wouldn’t have been able to set up my business. They gave me the confidence to fulfil my dream.

“For anyone thinking of setting up a business, I would highly recommend getting in touch with trust. I’m also really proud that three young women were up for the award.”

The awards recognise disadvantaged young people who have overcome issues such as abuse, drug addiction, homelessness, depression and unemployment.

NatWest spokesman Andy Gray explained the judges’ decision, saying: “Katie has achieved a huge amount, and become a creative and successful businesswoman, overcoming many challenges along the way.

“We are proud to support the award that she so deservingly won.”

Katie’s success continues a story which saw her taken into care as a child and eventually adopted. At 22 she became pregnant, then married and had another child.

Katie felt trapped and frustrated as a stay-at-home mum, despairing of finding rewarding work that would fit around her family’s needs.

The idea of an affordable bridal wear shop came about after the experience of her own wedding, but Katie lacked the confidence and knowledge to launch her own venture until she discovered The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme.

Also celebrated at the awards was Raven Stevens, 19, from Ilkeston, who was part of Derby Team 175—runner-up in the Community Impact category.

Team 175 helps unemployed young people gain confidence and skills to find work, primarily on projects with SV2, a charity supporting victims of sexual violence.