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A woman of the cloth

CONSISTENT: Camelle Daley

CAMELLE DALEY fashion clothing business House of Ilona has come a long way since it was featured in Soul Stirrings in 2013.

This 30 something wife and mother of two, had just launched a range of clothes for female clergy – a line that proved to be the making of her business.

It started after Camelle had been asked by a female friend to come up with a clergy outfit that was fashionable for a church engagement. The friend loved what Camelle produced and when she started marketing her new clergy design, so did the public.

Following extensive media coverage in 2014, demand for House of Ilona’s clergy range moved on at apace so much that Camelle has focused her time and energy developing and marketing it, to the detriment of her original fashion line, which she started in 2009.

Camelle conducts most of her business online and many of her customers, who come from various church traditions, are based in the UK and US, plus she’s getting a growing Swedish clientele.

A graduate of the London School of Fashion, Camelle aspires to be the biggest supplier of clergy wear for women in the world, and with this fact in mind, she has taken steps to expand into the American market in a major way, by displaying her clothing later this month at TD Jakes’ leadership conference.

She told Soul Stirrings: “I’ve wanted to go into the US for the past five years but cost had been an issue as well as the logistics in getting everything out there.

FASHIONABLE: House of Ilona’s Esther clergy blouse

“Easter is also my busiest time and the conference falls just after Easter so it’s always been tricky, but now, the timing just feels right. I can afford it as I’ve managed to cash flow my business and I have enough new styles."

Her key focus in going to the US is to get exposure. “Record sales would be great but the main thing is exposure for people to know who we are, where we are and how to order from us.”

When asked the secret of House of Ilona’s growth, Camelle puts it down to consistency. “I’m constantly doing Facebook ads. I’m constantly trying to keep my Facebook, Twitter and social media pages updated.”

Like most working mothers, who are also Christians, Camelle has developed a work/life balance so that she is able to apportion time to all the things that matter – her faith, husband, children and business as well as enjoy that all important me time.

For anyone thinking of starting a business Camelle has this advice. “It’s important you find something you love, enjoy and that resonates with you and that you can see yourself doing long term.” for more details

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