Little did magistrate KATHRYN LOFTUS know that when she had a tattoo on her wrist, it would go on to inspire a new business, a social venture, a trademarked brand, support from national adult store Nice ‘n’ Naughty, and a whole host of other accolades.
On a trip to Milton Keynes, Kathryn and group of University friends decided to have a tattoo which represented their friendship and celebrated the notion of difference. Each of them had the word ‘other’ tattooed on their wrist.
This was to be the start of a life changing period for Kathryn. Wanting to give something back to the LGBT community of Yorkshire which had supported her in ‘coming out’, she set up The Other Guide, a web resource aimed at supporting lesbian, bisexual and trans women in Yorkshire and Other Enterprises, a social enterprise, aimed at enhancing the lifestyles of the LGBT community.
Since then the venture has gone from strength to strength with Kathryn being asked to get involved in a wide variety of activities including organisation of events and fundraising, giving entrepreneurial talks in schools, supporting the Greater Police Authority’s same sex domestic violence campaign, taking on the Sheffield Lesbian Network and contributing to national publications. Kathryn is an active member of the Leeds and Bradford LGBT Pride committees, a trustee of the Bradford Equity Partnership, has been promoted in two LGBT magazines and interviewed on her local radio station.
Now somewhat of a local role model in Yorkshire, she has been nominated for the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award in LGBT at The National Diversity Awards.
And all this on top of a full time job!
After much discussion the directors of The Other Guide took the decision to turn their share based company into a social enterprise (Community Interest Company) in order to maximise the potential to support the LGBTQI community at the heart of its work.
The community of interest is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community and those questioning their sexuality.
Other Enterprises (UK) C.I.C provides an online resource called The Other Guide which is a ‘one-stop-shop’ listing businesses, meetings, groups, networking and social events across the Yorkshire region for lesbian, bisexual and trans women. It is unique in that it is the only web resource of its kind serving the entire Yorkshire region.
Other Enterprises (UK) C.I.C aims to create a more embracing and accepting society by promoting the message of it’s ok to be ‘other’; and in so doing, giving those that identify as ‘other’ in society the confidence to celebrate difference and diversity.
Our range of ‘other’ merchandise is used to promote the values of Other Enterprises (UK) C.I.C and any profits made are used to develop the online web resource, advocacy and awareness raising services that are provided.
Nice ‘n’ Naughty MD Simon Prescott says “I simply cannot believe the amount of work Kathryn has crammed into such a short period. We applaud the decision to change the business form a share based company to a social enterprise, in order to maximise their potential to support the LGBTQI community. Nice ‘n’ Naughty feel that there is now a real platform for anyone questioning their sexuality and we are proud to be spreading the word via our stores nationwide. Indeed we have always supported diversity and have supplied many of their customers a wide range of products, be it gay, lesbian, cross dressing, transgender or fetishisms. We are a non judgemental business whose aim is simply to help people safely enjoy their sexuality.
Kathryn says: “The foundation of what we do is about breaking free from the constraints of labels and judgements and encouraging all members of society to see that difference is something we should embrace. It’s good to be other.”
If you would like to learn more about Other, information can be found in UK and European award winning adult store chain, Nice ‘n’ Naughty, who are proud to be involved with Kathryn’s work. Information can also be found on line at www.nicennaughty.co.uk and www.otherenterprises.org
In support of Kathryn’s new venture, Nice ‘n’ Naughty would also like to offer a 10% discount to anyone who shops at www.nicennaughty.co.uk with the coupon code OTHERNNN which can be applied at the checkout.