Teenager launches her own business after baby sister helps to highlight gap in the market

A teenager who tried her hand at various careers is urging other young people to follow their dreams after expanding the business which was named after her baby sister.

Ashlee Spyvee at her babywear shop Mya Rose in Paragon Arcade

Eighteen-year-old Ashlee Spyvee was inspired to launch the business by her experience of trying to find suitable clothes for little Mya Rose, who is just 19 months old.

But before opening the shop in Paragon Arcade, Hull, Ashlee worked in a range of sales and care roles, eventually leaving her family and heading back to the area where she was born and brought up.

Ashlee said: “I’m from East Yorkshire but we moved to the Cotswolds six years ago. I didn’t like it there and I missed Hull so I came back to live with my grandmother in Thorngumbald.

“I started the business before I came back and then expanded it in February when a unit became available in Paragon Arcade. It’s a lovely place and the city centre could do with more spaces like this. The owners Allenby Commercial have chosen the tenants very carefully and we all work together to attract a lot of people.”

Ashlee launched Mya Rose last year and spent her time dashing between the Cotswolds and her grandmother Liz Jewitt’s home in Thorngumbald, about eight miles from Hull.

She sold at markets at Burton Constable Hall near Sproatley and at Cirencester, close to her parents’ home. She will take the business on the road again over the weekend with a stall on Monday 8 May at the Nag’s Head in Preston, Holderness – joining the pub’s coronation celebrations.

Ashlee said: “I knew there was a gap in the market because we found it difficult to get the clothes we wanted for Mya Rose. Some things were very expensive but we’ve put the effort in to get good quality, nice clothes at affordable prices.

“It’s baby and children’s wear and accessories, also gifts for baby showers. We try to make sure everything is different from what you’d find in the High Street shops and we get quite a few people travelling here from out of town. Customers keep telling me there’s nothing like this in the area.”

Ashlee still draws inspiration from the different jobs she tried between leaving school and launching Mya Rose when she was just 17.

She said: “I worked as an apprentice child minding assistant and I worked in a hospital as a healthcare assistant. I also had jobs in a few shops selling clothes and fudge but I wanted something I could put my own ideas and money into and I studied business at GCSE so I have a bit of knowledge.

“I’m earning more here than I did in the other jobs and I save money by coming to work on the bus. I started driving lessons but they cost £94 each so I decided to put that money into the business and use public transport.

“A lot of people go straight into a job and then find out it’s not the right thing and that’s why so many shops close. I’ve tried so many different jobs and now I’ve found the one thing I really enjoy.”