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Jess Jeetly MBE- 'Old Girl' 

Is an entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of Jeetly – a fashion brand for petite women.

I will always have fond memories of King’s High. It was a happy place where the teachers and staff were approachable and consistently offered their genuine support. It was an environment where I felt safe to be myself; a school that empowered girls to accept each other’s differences and celebrate individuality. It was a place where bullying was just not acceptable or an issue.

Immediately after leaving King’s, I studied a four-year degree course in Optometry at Cardiff University, then worked as a Consultant Optometrist in hospital and retail practice. Forever seeking new challenges and following trends in technology, in 2005 I created ‘pitchINDIA’, an online ‘Dragon’s Den’ platform connecting entrepreneurs in India to investors worldwide. Three years later, I created ‘LocumLog’, an iPhone app connecting employers to locum medical professionals looking for work. It was pioneering in the healthcare industry as Apple had just launched the Appstore in 2008 and LocumLog was first to market.

I am the founder and currently the CEO of Jeetly, the first clothing brand for women under 5’4 tall that puts customers in control of what gets made. We’re on a mission to democratise the fashion industry and shape the future of fashion.

Besides being a regular speaker at retail exhibitions and startup events across the UK, I’m a business mentor for PitchAtPalace,  Committee Chair at the International Women In Business Organisation, Judge at the UK Digital Entrepreneur Awards and sit on the board of the Midland’s Silicon Canal Awards, to promote the region’s tech ecosystem. 

I’d say to all King's High Girls, dream big, believe in yourself and work incredibly hard! If your goals don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough to achieve your full potential.  Of course dreams will not translate into reality without hard work and self discipline, but self-belief is absolutely essential to accomplish a task and overcome your fears.

Focus on your strengths, don’t work on your weaknesses. In the real world, it’s far more important to achieve mastery in what you are good at, than spend years working on improving the things you are not good at. Remember, amongst you there is an artist who doesn’t need to excel in Maths, there is an entrepreneur, who doesn’t have any interest in Latin or History, there is a musician, whose Biology marks won’t matter, and there is an athlete who excels on the track!

Finally, don’t strive to be perfect, just take action. The winners in life are those who are bold to seize opportunities, even when they’re not ready for them, those who aren’t afraid to fail, and those that step out of their comfort zone. 

King’s High provided the platform, the tools and the self-belief for me to go out and achieve, and this is something I’ll carry through life with me.