Deaf Entrepreneurs

James Boyle

What, Where? All Entrepreneurs
Fashion, Clothing
UK

From Hearing Times:

A young entrepreneur has launched a new online clothing brand, after initially being told he would never succeed in business because he is deaf.

James Boyle, who was born deaf and now uses a cochlear implant to help him hear, has launched an online clothing brand called Paradice. The business sells T-shirts, shirts, and trousers, which all include Paradice’s trademark dice motif.

Mr Boyle takes his inspiration from a number of influences including club and rave culture, festivals, and 1970s interior design. 

Describing his clothing, Mr Boyle said: “With my clothing range, my inspiration and ideas actually thrive on nostalgia and the way art and the rave scene made and continues to make people to feel.

“The current collection is aimed at a particular type of man – a man who lives his life in the spirit of both the 1980s and 1990s – a time of free thinking, expanding horizons and limitless possibilities. Paradice takes this message and transforms it into clothing that defines a man in search for the hedonistic lifestyle.”

Despite being deaf, Mr Boyle says music is a major influence on his designs. Due to his disability, the entrepreneur feels music rather than hears it. He originally found his talent for designing clothing after he started selling tie-dyed T-shirts to fund his place at university. After the garments sold out, he decided to give up his university place and go into business with his sister Nikki. 

The duo are now receiving support and mentoring from Julie Blackie, who is financial director of successful online clothing retailer Pink Boutique. Ms Blackie said: “I love the enthusiasm and design flair of James and Nikki. They have developed a brand that is stylish yet inexpensive and will form a very niche and influential part of the fashion market. “I recognised their talent but realised that they needed extra support in marketing their clothing and general business acumen. I can’t help seeing a similarity in how Pink Boutique started life with a small amount of cash and big ideas.

“I’m delighted to help them in any way I can and believe that they will experience the same success that we have.” 

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise workshop (IT)

    "It is now no longer matter of dreaming: we have discovered we have so many ideas it is a matter of putting them into practice! This workshop was an important opportunity, with many useful presentations and group discussions. I hope this same opportunity can be given to deaf individuals in other cities in Italy."

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "The level of quality engagement was so great that we often would not have enough time in the day to discuss all the points the participants wanted to discuss and would often spill over into our tea break or lunchtime to continue the discussions.

    All of which shows how great the need is by Sign language users to have this direct dialogue in their own language."

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "There are plenty of opportunities for Deaf people to set up their own business not just in the traditional areas of teaching sign language and interpreting services but also in all areas of the economy from retail, to service industries such as restaurants, leisure such as a gym.

    I really would like to see more Deaf entrepreneurs showing that they can do it.

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Go for it. Follow your dream. Keep persisting and ask lots of questions. Don’t give up. Seek advice from friends, family and look outside the box."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Keep an open attitude; co-operate with other Deaf business people. Use 'we' instead of 'I'."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Your deafness does not define your business skills. You are thinking with your brain, not your ears."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Asking Feedback is important. Then I look back and ask different people about their experiences. What is going well? What can be done better? I often hear new things and I learn. That helps your company improve."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Try it, nothing to lose."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is okay and you learn most from this. Don't afraid to ask for help if it's something wrong."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Talk to other business owners, ask them about their successes and their failures. Don't be scared to ask for help. You do not need to do it by yourself."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Perseverance and guts! Develop resilience to deal with adversity as this will help you get stronger and believe in your business."

  • Ramon Woolfe (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "By the end of the workshop they all displayed a renewed confidence to be able to go home and act upon their aim of setting up their business idea."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Keep fighting, don’t give up!"

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "I only will say: Go on! Use help from everybody, both from government and in your network. A lot of people are helpful with sharing informations and so on."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes is okay and you learn most from this. Don't afraid to ask for help if something is wrong."

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at UCLan workshop)

    "In the past Deaf people have had to travel many miles to find a course which is then predominantly hearing people and hearing led. This has made participation and involvement very problematic for Deaf people who have said comments such as: “I didn’t understand what the trainer was saying.” Also, “I found it difficult to mix with others in the group.”

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "I will only say: Go on! Use help from everybody, both from government and in your network. A lot of people are helpful by sharing information and so on."

  • Jakob Gade (DK)

    "The best way to create more jobs for deaf people? More businesses run by deaf entrepreneurs!"

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    "The workshop was extremely worthwhile; especially when one considers there has been nothing of its type in the UK before."

  • Deaf Enterprise Survey

    "Most of all, be passionate! Know and love your subject well!"

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise Workshop (IT)

    "The Deaf Enterprise workshop has been incredible: each one of us worked intensively on understanding the way to take to achieve our dreams; each one of us was able to express their doubts regarding talents and difficulties we might encounter.(..) Each one of us was able to contribute so as to find the key to unlock our personal journey and fulfil our dreams."

  • Participant Deaf Enterprise Workshop (IT)

    "It has been amazing, I am really satisfied because I have learned so much during these days and I think I have looked into myself and found very interesting insight which will be useful for my life. I believe this is the same as all other participants feel."

  • Clark Denmark (Trainer at the UCLan workshop)

    " Therefore, without Deaf role models being here it would be difficult for many Deaf participants to imagine and believe in what they could achieve."

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