I am a weaver and woven textile designer with a BA from Chelsea and an MA from the Royal College of Art, and I am also one of the founding fellows of the Ann Sutton Foundation. After two years working freelance, I started my business in 2003, developing fabrics on handlooms and then work with mills to produce these into industrially woven fabrics. We manufacture many of these products ourselves as well as working in collaboration with other designers, employing seven members of staff.I am a creative person and do not have business training.
While some business sense comes intuitively, we have benefited enormously from expert advice and mentoring in the areas of finance and growth. The Creative Industry Finance programme has helped enormously to understand cash flows, financial forecasting and budgeting. I successfully applied for loan finance in order to further expand the business, and I’m looking forward to working more closely with my business mentor Jeff Gilbert to ensure we do this sensibly and successfully.
Opening my store in 2007 was a great feeling. I am very proud to see my scarves in so many gallery stores and get excited each time we have a big hotel commission. Managing growth has provided many challenges. Growing the business from the cash flow has been particularly challenging which is why the Creative Industry Finance loan will be so beneficial.
I would like to see the business grow to sit alongside fabric companies such as Designers Guild or Osbourne and Little. I hope our company will always retain individuality because of the hand-woven craft at the core of the business and brand.
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