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Mentoring

Business mentoring and support is an invaluable resource for both new business start-ups and established businesses looking to expand their label.

To ensure the successful implementation of all business functions there are many considerations and decisions that need to be reviewed from business strategy to initial design concept, product development, sourcing, production, finance, marketing, legal and those all important sales!

FashionCapital.co.uk has over 30 years experience in the industry and has developed an extensive network of key industry experts now available to support your business. The team of mentors have been carefully selected for their specialised areas of expertise.

Carolyn Springett

Carolyn Springett - Business Consultant

Carolyn Springett is a highly experienced COO, MD, Brand and Trading Director whose career has spanned over 30 years in the fashion retail industry. Carolyn spent over 15 years working for leading UK High St retailers like Marks & Spencer and Next. More latterly, she worked for companies like Viyella, Aquascutum and Jaeger building her knowledge and experience in the Premium/Luxury sectors.


Passionate about every aspect of the product, Carolyn has a great affinity with brand, the customer and all elements of the customer experience. She has a first-rate understanding of product development, brand management and fashion retailing underpinned by a background covering design, buying, merchandising, marketing, quality assurance, supply chain, logistics, ecommerce, retail operations, factory management, business strategy and P&L accountability.


Creative and innovative, Carolyn is adept at seeing the bigger picture, providing vision and clarity of direction coupled with an enterprising, strategic and results orientated approach. She is forward thinking and has the ability to switch readily between strategic thinking and operational detail.


Carolyn has strong leadership and influencing skills, sound budgetary control and business acumen developed through working with private, public and private equity owned businesses and through various changes in company ownership. She has the ability to motivate, empower, inspire and promote excellence throughout the team and win the confidence of the senior management team and owners.


Carolyn has exceptional skills and proven experience of transformational change management and restructuring and has a strong track record of driving UK multi-channel performance whilst assessing and exploiting International opportunities across retail, wholesale, franchise and licensing. Keen to utilise her own experience to benefit others, in early 2014, Carolyn set up her own company, offering consultancy and business advisory services to the Fashion and Retail industries.
Carolyn is delighted and very excited to be working with Jenny and the team at Fashion Enter as this gives her the opportunity to work with a far sighted, progressive NFP organisation whose primary aim is to support and 'up skill' the British fashion industry and to connect with a variety of like minded people and businesses.

Nick Gould

Nick Gould - Solicitor

“The common sense lawyer with mismatched shoes”...

I am a Partner at the law firm of Gunnercooke  in London. I advise companies from local start-ups to multinational trading groups on a wide range of business law issues. For many years I have specialised in advising family or privately owned and managed businesses, from the small to the very large. Business sectors include fashion and media.

I also help to solve shareholder and similar disputes. I lecture and write regularly on aspects of corporate law, most recently on those involving directors' duties and liabilities.

I try and help small companies think about how to grow and to protect themselves while they do so.

I was a member of the “Good Law” initiative set up by the UK Cabinet Office and Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to try and make law easier to understand and access - because when others give compliments it is a bonus.

Mark Dodds

Mark Dodds - Fabric Technician 

Mark Dodds graduated from the University of Leeds in 2001 with a BA in textile management. Since then Mark has worked for various suppliers to the British fashion industry in technical and sourcing roles, travelling the world to source fabrics and working with garment making factories to make products sold to the British and US high street retailers.

In 2010 Mark partnered with Christopher Waller to set up a luxury womenswear fashion label. In doing this he gained experience working with small UK manufacturers, fabric suppliers, PR and sales agents and as a result knows first hand what it's like to be a fashion start up and the challenges that they face. In 2012 Christopher Waller joined Fashion Scout and presented the collection during London Fashion week.

Mark now works as a consultant and has contracts working for ASOS.com, Charlotte Tilbury and Oliver Spencer, retaining Christopher Waller as a design consultancy business.
Fabric Sourcing:
- What are the good fabric shows to go to
- Where can you look for small quantities other than Berwick St
- What to ask fabric mills
- Care label requirements and what the law says you need to display
- Making sure your fabric is fit for purpose

PR, press and sales:
- How to source a good PR agency
- What you might expect to pay for PR and how to make the most of it
- The value of good PR
- Ways in which you might generate your own PR
- The value of affiliation and collaborations
- What your PR may ask of you
- Sales agents and what to look for
- What trade shows would be valuable to you and how you might approach them
- What funding is available to help you with a trade show and where you may obtain this
- What a buyer will look for in your brand in order to take you on
- The pitfalls of selling to trade – payment terms, discounts and "sale or return"

Nigel Rust

Nigel Rust, B.Sc (Eng), C.Eng, MIMechE, Business Mentor, Coach and Manufacturing Specialist


Nigel has over 26 years experience in manufacturing in roles spanning production engineering, production management, product management, sales and marketing and general management. He moved into business support with Business Link for London, where he was Sector Development Specialist for Engineering, offering sales and marketing and product innovation support to small manufacturers. He joined EEF as a Manufacturing Specialist on the London Manufacturing Advisory Service team in 2006 and is currently working as an independent mentor, coach and manufacturing specialist. Nigel is a graduate of Imperial College of Science and Technology and is a Chartered Engineer.


He has worked extensively in the fashion sector with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This work has included projects with designers, Cut Make Trim (CMT) units, and sampling units. Nigel has been a big supporter of Fashion Capital for several years. He was involved in the original development of the 'Manufacturers Online Showroom' directory of manufacturers on Fashion Capital in 2007 and helped Fashion Capital to grow the site to its current size.

Ares of discussion:
- Finding suitable manufacturers - Where to look. Creating a short list.
- Selecting a manufacturer – What to look out for. Check list of requirements. The importance of a relationship. Sampling v Production.
- Developing the relationship – developing mutual trust
- UK v Overseas – the pros and cons
- Communications – How to get your spec across. Delivery expectations. Quality. Progress chasing. What the manufacturer needs from you.
- Production planning – What you need to do to keep the manufacturer on track.

Dan Sherfield

Dan Sherfield - Business Improvement 

Dan Sherfield graduated from University College London in 2006 with a first class degree in Mathematics with Economics, completing internships with Ernst & Young LLP and BDO Stoy Hayward LLP. Since University, Dan has qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for Ernst & Young for five years within its corporate finance department, advising companies on mergers and acquisitions and conducting due diligence and financial analysis on businesses across a range of industry sectors.

In 2013, Dan spent nine months working at the Social Business Trust. Here he advised social businesses on their growth plans and aspirations, as well as conducting diligence on businesses to enable them to receive SBT support. Dan worked closely with Fashion Enter to help them win the award from SBT, and now works as a consultant at Fashion Enter implementing business improvements.

Areas of expertise:
- Financial planning
- Cash flow forecasting
- Pricing
- Margin control
- Overhead cost control

Tanya Smith

Tanya Smith Designer


Tanya Smith graduated from Leeds College of Art and Design in 2009 where she studied Fashion Design. Tanya went on to work for the design teams of French Connection and then Savannah Miller. Both companies gave Tanya great experience with product developing, as well as the inner workings of two very different companies. French Connection in particular allowed Tanya to develop her design skills and production knowledge. Savannah Miller helped to develop Tanya's technical skills especially measurement lists for garments to help instruct a pattern cutter. All knowledge that she is eager to pass on.
In 2013 Tanya wanted to use her knowledge and support British manufacturing by setting up her own British made brand. After launching this year, her company is growing at a steady pace ready to wholesale her second collection. Keen to share her journey, Tanya will be able to highlight obstacles as well as solutions to starting and running a new business.
Design help:
- How to start the design process
- Collating ideas into mood boards
- Starting the design process
- Developing initial ideas and building a range
- Finalising designs for sampling
Product Development:
- Choosing the right fabric
- Creating tech packs (including measurement sheets if not pattern cutting yourself) to pass onto your manufacturer
- Fitting a garment
- Finalising your range

To book a one-to-one mentoring session please contact:

Membership enquries - memberships@fashioncapital.co.uk
Please note members receive a preferential rate.