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N17 Creative Callings Employer Engagement: Business After COVID


On 23rd March Fashion-Enter delivered a three-hour employer engagement session on Business After COVID as part of the N17 Creative Callings business support initiative.

Delivered by CEO Jenny Holloway, Production Director Caroline Ash and Development Director Jenni Sutton the in-depth session focused on how small businesses can adapt after the pandemic and what opportunities are available to them. 

The session began with industry statistics to show the revival of UK manufacturing due to Brexit and COVID as well as the growth of online sales and how consumers are now shopping small and local. Huge opportunities for small business owners.

Jenny spoke candidly about running a business – turnover is vanity, profit is reality and cash flow is sanity. She also explained the complete garment life cycle and the realities of working with a manufacturer. Caroline went into detail about how to communicate with a factory and how to build a good relationship. 

The effects of COVID-19 and shopping behaviours of consumers was then discussed in detail. It has been difficult year for everyone, and the fashion industry is entering a ‘new normal’. Jenny talked about a latest Drapers Record article about a rise in local shopping and how it is here to stay – a huge opportunity for small designers. Jenny explained it is about adapting and being nimble in order to thrive within these new parameters.

How has COVID changed the industry was then explained with the biggest talking point being consumer behaviour. Jenny discussed how retailers have adapted by going online, connecting with their audience via social media, shifted their focus to loungewear or homewear. It is all about thinking outside of the box.

Jenni Sutton then spoke about upcoming opportunities for N17 Creative Callings businesses such as selling under a designer consortium on eBay, Meet the Buyer event with ASOS marketplace and tips on selling via your own website and social media.

At the end of the session many questions came in about fabric sourcing, working with factories, local opportunities and how to drive traffic towards a website. Overall a fantastic session with great feedback! 

Feedback included:

“What I found most useful was the discussion on how the industry is changing with a focus on sustainability, as well as things like returns and the production process and how complex this actually is. I also really enjoyed the prospect of such a wide range of skills and support available.” – Maurya

The next N17 Creative Callings employer engagement session takes place 1st April with designer Louisa Parris. The masterclass is also available to non-N17 Creative Callings participants at a cost of £10-

If you have just started or are looking to grow a small business in the Tottenham CEZ area, then please get in touch and we will advise on how N17 Creative Callings, supported by the Mayor of London and the European Social Fund, can help you and your business. To find out more visit: http://n17creativecallings.com/

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