We chat to Charlotte Bramford about the box that has got Industry members talking.
In June Knock on the Door's Charlotte Bramford launched Business in a Box. Curious to find out more, we talk to The Industry member about the product now and in the future.
How did the Business in a Box concept originate?
Knock on the Door's initial business model saw us head hunt designers, often recent graduates, and commission them to develop a capsule collection exclusively for Knock on the Door. We would then produce and market the collection, however the range was sold under the designers' name.
By promoting the unusual concept of Knock on the Door, we quickly began to build a reputation as the place for new designers to launch their career. We frequently received enquires about fabric sourcing, manufacturing and general business queries. However the way we were structured (working with one or two select designers) limited the amount of help we could give to all the other talented individuals who approached us.
It was clear there was a lack of information available about setting up and running your own fashion business so I wanted to help fill this void by creating a product which could provide answers to the questions we were continually receiving. A product that would provide key information, practical advice and useful contacts, all of which are essential components to setting up and running a fashion label. Business in a Box takes all the knowledge and useful contacts I have built up over the years and combines it into a user friendly package full of invaluable information.
What has response been like?
The response has been fantastic from both new designers and industry experts. Reactions range from "Where was this when I first started my business?" to"This is absolutely brilliant!"
Industry member, Alison Lowe from Felicities PR agency thinks it is an excellent product and will be recommending it to the young designers she works with; she even has a copy on display in her showroom. Alison told me that many designers approach her for representation but they do not yet have the knowledge they require to run a fashion label. She will be recommending they purchase Business is a Box to provide them with a solid grounding in all aspects of managing their own label. The response I got from Graduate Fashion Week was also very positive.
Several organisations including the Ethical Fashion Forum and Portobello Business Centre are keen to promote the product to their members. I have also been asked to speak at an event run by the Portobello Business Centre in conjunction with David Jones which is designed to help emerging designers running their own business.
Ceci Guicciardi, also an Industry member saw posts on Twitter about Business in a Box and has now invited me to be a contributor to her online intelligence publication, Brand & Commercial.
Where do you see Business in a Box in five years?
The aim is to grow Knock on the Door to be the go-to training and consultancy company for emerging designers with Business in a Box being the flagship product. We have already received interest from individuals throughout Europe. If this continues we would look at translating the product into other languages.
While Business in a Box provides an in-depth look at all aspects of running a fashion label, and acts as a fantastic guide people can continually refer to, we are aware that many designers still want to receive training and guidance face-to-face. Knock on the Door is in the process of developing a series of 'Masterclasses' which will focus on specific elements of running your own fashion business. Along with 'Meet the Expert' events where designers will hear from industry experts on how to overcome issues often faced by new designers.
For those wanting more personal support Knock on the Door also offers a one-to-one consultancy service which is tailored to suit the needs of each individual. This is an area which is of particular personal interest to me. Having consulted on a number of business start ups ranging from beauty products to an alpine holiday company, I find being involved with a brand in its start-up phase and throughout the early times fascinating. The first few years can be exceptionally challenging for a new business owner so having someone to turn to for advice and guidance is invaluable. Being this person and being able to suggest ideas, provide solutions to problems and watch the business grow and develop is immensely rewarding.
Get in touch with Charlotte via The Industry Directory
By The Industry's Features Editor, Harriet Bowe
Would you like to join Charlotte, Alison and Ceci in the premier members group for those shaping the future of fashion? Visit our JOIN page.
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