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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Project 104 - Business Mentoring Session

Today was  the first mentoring session with our mentoring competition winner Sarah Reader founder of Project 104,  which was sponsored by Etsy.

Sarah wear Project 104 jacket 
photo Jay Mclaughlin
We had a really productive session, first discussing the current status of her business and outlining what the goals Sarah wants to achieve over the six month programme.  We defined  the key areas that are a priority  to focus on in preparation for the brand’s launch to market.

There are always so many things that need attention when starting up a fashion business,  but it is important to be realistic with what can be achieved with limited time and resources. It is far better to take things slowly and make sure you have everything in place, rather than rushing, making costly mistakes and putting yourself under pressure.

As with many designer, Sarah has so many ideas and plans for the brand  but has yet to formalise her strategy into a business plan  Many people think you only need a business plan if you are trying to raise money, and whilst this is certainly true, your business  needs one anyway as it is becomes your roadmap and guide, allowing you to keep on track with your goals and objectives.

Sarah in Project 104 
photo Elliot Rose
I  have given Sarah our Fashion Angel guide to writing a business plan – writing a plan isn’t  as onerous as it sounds and can be broken down into small chunks. It’s not something you can put together quickly – it usually takes a few weeks while you refine your business model and conduct the necessary research.Working on the plan makes you think about the direction of the business and the many aspects to running a successful business.

The plan will evolve as new opportunities and challenges arise. Sarah is at the perfect stage of her business journey start working on her plan and working with the Fashion Angel team will give her the tools and confidence to do this.

Aside from this we discussed how important it is for a brand to have a clear USP which will be the cornerstone for all brand development activity and be reflected in all sales/press and marketing channels. Over the next few sessions we will be defining the USP, looking at  production options, costings and profit models and researching routes to market.

We rounded off today’s session with some clear actions and target completion dates and will review  progress at our next meeting at the end of March.

I am really looking forward to working with Sarah over the next few months and watching her label develop and launch to market!!

By Alison Lewy


  1. Looks like a fairly solid plan. I really hope it goes well and takes off.

  2. incredible designs. cant wait.

  3. Excellent and informative blog. Thanks for posting this. It’s informative and enlightening. Keep up the good work.Business Mentoring


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