Wondering who is behind Start Your Own Fashion Label?Behind the Scenes
Hello designers – if you have been considering joining Start Your Own Fashion Label but not sure how credible the company is – then let me tell you a bit more about me and why I created Start your Own Fashion Label. If we are going to hang out together, or you are going to ask me for advice or feedback then you probably want to know who I am and why you should listen to me! – So here goes…
I, Alison Lowe, I have been working in the fashion industry for over 15 years and I am passionate about supporting start-up brands, emerging fashion labels and creative talent. With a background in business growth and development for creative companies, I came into the fashion industry in 2003 when I discovered that there was really limited support for start-up fashion brands. I was shocked how emerging labels were given no business advice and support, or worse given really bad advice. The industry was totally focused on finding new talent each season, but if in the following year that business failed, then no-one cared as there would be another new exciting label next season. Designers were always pushed to invest every penny they had into putting on catwalk shows and taking part in trade shows, without any consideration whether that was the best use of the money the designer had to start their label. I also discovered that designers really struggled to find people to support them in building and growing their businesses. They felt isolated, stressed, financially stretched, unsure of what to do and where to go for help, and fearful of having their ideas and designs stolen.
So, I was determined to create ways to support emerging talent and prepare them for the challenges of running a label in a changing fashion industry. This determination led to creating an agency in 2003 to provide specialised support for emerging labels and Felicities has been going strong ever since. We have worked with around 2,000 startup labels from around the world, helping them create, sell and promote their collections; supporting them in all aspects of growing their brands from range planning to manufacturing, selling their collections through wholesale or direct to consumer to generating press coverage. Through my work with Felicities, I have built a reputation as one of the leading supporters of emerging fashion talent both in the UK and globally and was honoured to receive an MBE for Services to the Fashion Industry from Her Majesty the Queen in 2017. I was also nominated and awarded as one of the Maserati 100 in 2016 for the support I give the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Felicities is constantly inundated with requests for help from brands all over the world, but we were limited by the number of designers the agency could work with, as we wanted to give a very detailed and in-depth service. I also started to teach and give masterclasses at Fashion Schools all over the world including University of the Arts and London College of Fashion to try and prepare designers for launching their own labels. What came from all this work, is the recognition that no matter which country they were working from, everyone had the same questions and challenges. The designers were struggling to find answers to these questions when they needed them – they didn’t have time to go on courses, the finances to take on full-time business managers and consultants, didn’t have a network of advisors and mentors, found many books were outdated and were unsure where to go for some quick practical advice. So, in 2016 I decided to set up Start Your Own Fashion Label (SYOFL) so that we could provide services to more startup labels all over the world.
Through Start Your Own Fashion Label we are now able to provide mentoring, support, a safe network, downloadable resources, and information that is up-to-date on industry changes and affordable for all. I am determined that all advice and downloads are delivered by experts who are working in the industry today, and are totally practical and realistic in their approach.
From our advice, you can start to implement changes straight away and start to grow your business in an effective and economical way. A mentoring session can set you on the right path, helps answer any and all questions about your brand and help you prioritize important tasks. Our membership gives you access to free downloads, discounted events and the chance to network with fellow designers and advisors. Our downloads and templates are really effective so that you can quickly and cheaply get answers to some of your more basic questions.
So I hope you now feel confident that all the advice and support you are given through Start Your Own Fashion Label comes with our passion to help you succeed.