Creative business mentoring

 31 March 2011

Wolf & Badger was set up provide new designers affordable display at a boutique retail space. As part of the fee, the artists also get mentoring to help them grow their business.

Business support for designers

Samir Ceric, Director

"We would like to see a dozen new stores based on this formula. There are so many creative, talented people out there that need help."

"Wolf & Badger has been likened to a retail lab – this is where we actually test out lots of products.

"The great thing about it is we're not buying, we're giving designers the opportunity to test out part of their collections and introduce new collections.

"This limited-time contract for designers is three months. In that period of time, we work closely with them on helping them with the parts of their business they need help with:

  •  pricing
  •  manufacturing links
  •  scaling up their businesses.

"So very much scrutinising each business with the aim to make it more stable, more viable.

"Often loads of them come with great products, but not much knowledge in terms of business, how they can make money out of it. The point of being in business is to make money, of course, but you mustn't dilute the integrity of the design or the brand."

Mentoring support for designers

"The great thing about Wolf & Badger is the mentoring side of things. Zoe Knight is the creative director and has been in the fashion world for 12 years.

"As the business director, I have been in the art and business sector for more than ten years. We can really help no matter what stage of business development they're at.

"This is their first real experience with the retail side of things, unless they've got their own flagship store already. Designers here take 90 percent of the retail prices, unlike your standard wholesale formula. They do pay the license fee every month, but that includes every aspect of the service that we provide.

"We think this is the future. We actually would like to see half a dozen to a dozen new stores based on this formula. There are so many creative, talented people out there that need help."

Personal support for artists

Helen Ruth, Scarf Designer

"It's a really good way for someone who is just starting out. The financial cost is quite minimal, so you don't have a huge commitment to make in the beginning."

"I came down for an interview. We discussed fabrics, and hand-finishing of the designs just to get make it a quality product.

"So when the store opened, I was really pleased with the collection I produced."

"I have had quite a lot of contact with Wolf & Badger on how to move it forward. I'm also going to be having a meeting with them to discuss what I can do next, to take it into the next stages.

"I want to get the scarves into more stores, I want to become known for my print designs, so they're going to help me with that."

Getting a retail space for designers

"Obviously being from Aberdeen, it is more difficult. The strength of Wolf & Badger is that it's a really good way for someone who is just starting out. The financial cost is quite minimal, so you don't have a huge commitment to make in the beginning, which I felt was really good. The risk was well worth taking.

"At the moment, I'm really working to get my scarves well-known. So Wolf & Badger, I'm just going to take all the opportunities I can get from here and make the most of it."

Visit Helen's website


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