LEAVING university to start her own business was the best decision Robyn Palmer could make, and today she is the head fashion designer and founder of Phoebe & Knox, which is an online store.Palmer (20) said she has always loved dressing up and has always kept up with fashion trends.“I have always had a love for fashion and decided to study fashion when I was still in Grade 11,” said Palmer.She said she started studying fashion design at university, however, once she had decided to start her own online store, she left varsity.“I wrote my business plan and started putting it all together. It took me a while to do the planning. However, when I saw that there was a factory for sale, I took a loan and bought the factory and followed my dreams,” she said. “I was extremely lucky. My parents have been so incredibly supportive since day one,” said Palmer.She said they are a very close family and her parents believe strongly in hard work. “They have always stood up for my decisions and have backed me, especially when other people had so much to say about my choice of going into fashion,” she said.Palmer said it was hard for her to run a factory all by herself but she’s really grateful to the woman who came to her aid. “It was hard but I had the most beautiful, capable and incredible woman working with me, Kubashni Naidoo. She taught me how to run the factory and was always supporting me,” said Palmer. Palmer said that she sold her factory because it was taking time away from making her own garments.“I sold the CMT (cut-make-trim) factory last year but they still produce for me . I had to let it go because I was producing for other designers and it just took up all my time and I couldn’t focus on my own label, which was affecting the boutiques that I stocked,” said Palmer.She added that during the time that she ran the factory she learnt about many things that come with running a business.“I learnt about accounting and how to handle your staff,” she said.Palmer said her biggest achievement is seeing the progress her label has made and she encouraged others to follow their dreams.