Elif Köse, Owner of Elif Köse Boutique

Offering a unique range of clothing and accessories, along with a bespoke dressmaking service for something extra-special 

A young Turkish girl – speaking only a few words of English – arrives in Brighton with no more than a suitcase, a couple of hundred pounds in her pocket and a dream. She’s on a mission to empower as many women as possible to help them reach their goals…

It was my desire to live life the way I wanted, so I decided to escape a male-dominated society to be my true, authentic self almost 13 years ago. Waiting for luck to come along and take care of me was futile.

I started working as an au pair for a year and helped a lady who ran an alteration shop for pocket money. She later closed the business and moved to France. Her move led me to start my own alteration business as a mobile service on a bicycle I’d bought from a car boot sale for a tenner. It certainly sped up customer pick-ups (after all, there’s only so much you can do on a bus!) and it was certainly the fittest time of my life.

My confidence steadily improved – both personally and through my grasp of the English language – and I found myself gravitating towards many types of social and networking groups. An introvert by nature (no doubt influenced by my upbringing), that frustrated young girl inside me was given the chance to flourish and be.

Soon afterwards, the alteration shop I used to work at came back on the market and I took over the premises. I then established myself with the boutique, where I create unique clothing and accessories to give women greater confidence through the outfits they wear.

This year, having previously won awards and gaining recognition from my industry peers, I’m proud to be celebrating a decade in business. On 8 March, I’m hosting an empowerment event at The Grand Brighton Hotel – bringing people together to share their stories and be inspired.

I feel it’s my responsibility to empower women. To those of you reading my story today who are harbouring their own hopes and dreams, I urge you to go out there and tell people who you are! Trust your intuition, be authentic, share your story and be visible!

Elif Köse Boutique