I hate to have to write about this but it’s becoming more and more frequent, so I feel that I have to warn aspiring fashion entrepreneurs, especially those who have little experience in the fashion industry.
There are quite a few charlatans out there who will promise the earth and deliver nothing but quite willingly take your money from you. As a startup your funds are very precious and you’ll need every penny for your patterns and samples and your fabrics.
Only yesterday I received a phone call from a guy who told me he worked for several high profile designers and was looking for manufacturing for them. I told him that we don’t just manufacture, we look after clients starting up and guide them through the entire process from start to finish, so I couldn’t help him or his designers. He then proceeded to ask me many questions, implying that some of the designers he worked for were indeed startups. In the end I suggested he came for a consultation so that I could discuss the requirements of the designers he worked for in greater detail. I assumed he was a design consultant. That was the message he wanted me to believe.
I received his email and then I checked out his website ‘Bespokepatterns.co.uk’. What a fraudster! He was trying to pick my brains and find out how he could cash in by offering young designers a service that he was quite incapable of delivering. His website contains paragraphs and sentences virtually copied word for word from Fashionworks London. His Instagram contains images he’s stolen from an associate’s website too! He really can’t help startups, so please tread carefully and don’t part with your money until you’ve convinced yourself he can do the job he promises for you…. which I doubt very much.
One of my young clients was badly stung by an unscrupulous factory called ‘Stitchland’. They took all of her money from her upfront, promising the earth and the results were appalling! When Fashion Angel sent her to me, I was so angry that someone in our industry could be such a fraudster and rob this poor young lady of thousands of pounds, knowing that she had a dream and relied upon ‘honest’ people to help her realise it. I advised her to take them to court and I put her in touch with my legal team who represented her. It took a year but the day we went to court together, I promised her that we wouldn’t be leaving without getting all of her money back. It was a bleak and cold day in January as we trundled into that courtroom… but worth the wait. She won the case! The judge told them to pay all her money back to her and more!
Therefore I feel that this information is now necessary because I don’t want you to get stung and have your dreams shattered. There are also other ‘pattern and sample studios’ that have set up over the past couple of years and many have already closed down. One such establishment was ‘Needle ‘n Thread’ – again, appalling workmanship. I personally went to their studio and insisted they hand over all of the fabrics and belongings of my young client and give her a full refund.
I often get approached by sample studios and pattern cutters offering their services to Fashionworks London. I decline. I have in the past trialled some of these people and I’m certainly not saying they’re all as bad, as some of them offer a good service – but be careful and ask all the right questions and do not part with your money until you’re sure. What’s more, do not agree to an ‘hourly’ rate because you’re not going to be around to check these hours and the final invoice could be astronomical. It’s like handing over your cheque book for them to fill in themselves! Ask for a fixed price for the work. If they refuse, then go elsewhere. An established and experienced pattern cutter or sample studio knows how long it takes to create a garment, whatever type of garment. They should, if they’ve been doing it for years. The design details will make a small difference but this can still be calculated fairly accurately. My team and I have lengthy meetings to calculate our prices fairly and we never quote until I’ve discussed everything thoroughly during my consultations with my new clients. Furthermore don’t trust ‘experienced designers’ who offer to cut your patterns and do your sampling. You’re either a designer or a technical expert. Rarely can you be both.
I’m pleased to say that the Fashionworks London team are all professionals with years of top class experience between us. We take pride in the services we offer startups and when I take on a new project, my team and I make sure we deliver 100%. We never finish a job until you’re entirely happy which is why we receive 5 star Google reviews from happy clients.
Our reputation is worth its weight in gold to us. We work for you to become successful and we consider our services to be worthy of your investment! We never overcharge and we don’t quote hourly rates either. Our fees are set in stone from the get go. Your success reflects upon our success in helping you.
If you’re considering starting a fashion line, come and see me first for a consultation. I’ve helped more startups start than I can count hot dinners. I set up this business with the sole purpose of helping young fashion entrepreneurs. The reason I did, was because I have a son too. He’s a musician and he relied upon honest people and mentors to help him get established in a tough industry. Without their help, he probably wouldn’t be the talented young man he is today and would have given up on his dream.
Whether you go on to use Fashionworks London services or not, a consultation with me will probably be the best move you could ever make to get you walking up that catwalk! Try us and let us set the bar!