the label. the love. the legacy.

Heidi Anderson: Tragic story behind Perth designer Kate Watts’ label Only One Ashley

Posted on September 29 2016

PERTH is home to many inspirational, amazing and talented women and men and through my job I have been lucky enough to meet a few of them.

At the start of the year, I met a truly inspiring local woman by the name of Kate Watts.

Some of you may have heard of her, but for those who haven’t, I’d love to introduce you.

 

Kate is a fashion designer who started her label Only One Ashley just over a year ago.

She named her label in memory of her daughter Ashley, who sadly passed away at the age of 18.

Kate’s story is a tender one.

At just 14 years old, she fell pregnant with Ashley.

Being just a kid herself, Kate didn’t tell anyone about her pregnancy and it wasn’t until she went into labour that her family found out.

Kate almost died at the time from pre-eclampsia and sadly baby Ashley was born with a terminal brain condition that cut her life short.

Over the few meetings I have had with Kate, she has shared so many beautiful memories about Ashley and we have shed a few tears talking about her precious life. 

“Ashley was more than meets the eye, she exceeded doctors’ expectations and her little personality was so joyful”, Kate said.

She credits the success of her label to Ashley and of course the amazing support from her hubby, Paul.

It has been one hell of a week for Kate this week and an exciting time for her label.

 

Some of you may have heard, but if not, Kate made her dress debut on the Brownlow red carpet by designing and dressing local woman Dani Orlando, partner of Luke Shuey from the West Coast Eagles.

Kate made the dress specifically for Dani after I introduced them while filming our chat that you can watch below, where you’ll hear all about Ashley.

 

Fashion designer Kate Watts opens up about the loss of her daughter

 

Just before Dani arrived, Kate was telling me that she would love to dress her for the Brownlow Medal and that she had been stalking her on Instagram for some time, hoping and praying that she would dress her one day.

As soon as Dani arrived, I was so excited for her, I blurted out that Kate was super keen to dress her and had some awesome ideas.

Without hesitation, Dani said yes.

She loved Kate’s vibe and was excited about helping a new designer.

“Dressing Dani has been a career highlight”, Kate said.

Perth is a tough market to crack and for the past few years, Kate has been working her butt off to get her label and name out there. 

“Breaking into any fashion market has been tough. I have put myself out there in many outfits to be noticed, including putting myself into to circles you need to be known in. I know that might sound like a chore but I have met the most amazing people taking that path and I am forever grateful,” Kate said.

— Hear Heidi Anderson on hit92.9’s Breakfast with Heidi, Will & Woody. Follow Heidi on Twitter: @RealHeidi

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