Director of Leeds-based fashion start-up highly commended in IoD awards

The founder and director of a Leeds-based fashion brand has been highly commended at the Institute of Director’s Yorkshire & North East Director of the Year Awards 2018.

Established in 2015 by Claire Shakespeare, Butterfly Tree learnt that it had been shortlisted in the start-up director of the year category earlier this year.

Operating out of AW Hainsworth & Sons Spring Valley Mills in Pudsey, Butterfly Tree designs and handcrafts unique hand bags with quality and locally sourced wool and leather.

Claire joined other regional finalists at a black-tie awards ceremony on 5th July 2018 at Principal York in York.

The annual IoD awards seeks to recognise leadership and business excellence in the region, as well as the significant contribution leaders make to society and economic prosperity.

News follows other recent award successes for the firm, which celebrated a win at Leeds Beckett University’s Business Advantage Awards earlier this year. Butterfly Tree also recently launched its second range of products in Spring 2018.

Commenting on the awards, Claire Shakespeare said:

“I am absolutely overwhelmed to have been presented with the highly commended award. A lot of hard work has gone into the release of my new collection and I feel like this really does make it all worthwhile. We’re going to continue to work really hard to grow Butterfly Tree and we’re already making plans for our 2019 collection… watch this space!”.

About Butterfly Tree

Launching in 2015, Butterfly Tree creates beautiful handcrafted bags from its headquarters in Leeds, Yorkshire. Using the finest quality and locally sourced wool and leather, Butterfly Tree produces timeless bags with stunningly unique designs.

Founded by part-time ballet teacher, Claire Shakespeare, Butterfly Bags started out with only the most basic equipment, at a kitchen table in Claire’s home. Through sheer grit and determination, Claire has built a successful and profitable business which represents high quality British fabric and attention to detail.

Claire’s business was born after having received positive feedback from friends and family around a knitting bag she had originally made for her mother-in-law for Christmas. Claire subsequently approached a local wool shop, Baa Ram Ewe, based in Chapel Allerton, who proceeded to order nine of Claire’s knitting bags.

Now with stockists across the country, including national retailer, John Lewis, the firm has a wide range of products available and has plans to launch a new collection in February 2018.

Butterfly Tree bags feature clean and classic designs, matched with vibrant linings. Claire’s understanding of aesthetics and natural grasp of colours and shapes allow her to create simple but beautiful pieces which are now cherished and loved by many across the nation.

Claire’s mission is to create exquisite bags that last a lifetime; she is also keen to fly the flag for British made products. The bags are created using Yorkshire wool, supplied by the prestigious wool maker Abraham Moon and assembled at the famous A.W.Hainsworth Mill which was established in 1783.

For more information visit or contact Jennifer Ogden on 07907181487