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Council launches bespoke Designer Business Start Up Programme

17 November 2017

Derry City & Strabane District Council, in conjunction with Inner City’s Trust Fashion and Textile Design Hub and the renowned Fashion Enter London (FEL) are delighted to invite emerging talents in the design and textile industry to join the bespoke Designer Business Start Up Programme, a collaborative scheme drawing on the expertise of industry specialist Jenny Holloway and her team at the highly successful Fashion Enter London (FEL) Programme.


 The first in a series of workshops, which took place on Wednesday 15th November in the Fashion & Textile Design Hub was delivered by Caroline Ash, Production Manager FEL.  Caroline covered the sampling and production process, provided insight into finding the right manufacturer as well how an ethical, compliant factory works. 

Caroline is a highly experienced production coordinator, source and product developer with over 30 years’ experience in the industry delivering finished products that meet lead times and quality expectations.    Having been Head of Production for various companies supplying the High Street ranging from soft separates, dresses, tailoring, jersey to outerwear Caroline has manufacturing experience in China, Turkey, Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt as well as the UK.

The aim of the programme is to provide specially tailored business support packages which will equip local designers with the essential knowledge and tools they need to develop their business infrastructure and growth strategies.  The programme will comprise of a series of workshops led by industry experts covering topics including business planning, finance, accountancy, legal, range planning, costing and pricing, production, sales strategies, marketing and PR.

To kickstart the Designer Business Start Up programme up and coming designers are being asked to put their Perfect Pitch to the team to be in with a chance to win a range of prizes including 1:1 Specialist Support from the team at FEL, the opportunity to showcase products at an exclusive FEL exhibition taking place during London Fashion Week, and free membership of the Fashion & Design Hub, Shipquay Street.

Applicants must be relatively new to the industry and demonstrate drive and entrepreneurial flair to match their creative talent and potential for growth, they must also reside or have a business established within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

The Application process closes on 18th December and shortlisted designers must be available for a pitch on Tuesday 09th January.  Please contact [email protected] for further information and an application form.