Michelle Ramsay, Founder of The Fashion Expert®
Specialising in helping those new to the industry to launch a fashion brand!
What drew me to fashion? Creativity (in a word). It’s my big thing! I studied an Art Foundation at college and, of all the modules, fashion was the one… I knew it was what I wanted to do for a living, so I pursued a Fashion degree.
For the next 15 years, I enjoyed a successful corporate career as an in-house designer – working for famous brands and High Street retailers, as well as the companies that supply them. I loved the variety – experiencing new customers, clients and projects every day – and thrived in the fast-paced environment.
For the first decade, I was fully on board, but the more senior I became, the further removed I felt from the design and creativity process. Instead, there were accounts to run and customers to manage. I felt the constant pressure of monitoring budgets and hitting targets. I wasn’t doing the job I loved so, towards the end, I began to think about setting up on my own…
The idea was attractive, but I wrestled with giving up secure employment and a great salary for the unknown. When my partner was offered a new job in the Cotswolds in 2015, I had a ‘now or never’ moment… It was time to go for it! I set up The Fashion Expert® feeling fully prepared to give it my all – and I’ve never looked back!
It’s on me to make it work. To survive, I’ve had to learn how to be my own boss and wear many hats, but my career proved to be an amazing grounding for success.
I overcame the isolation of home-based working by attending networking groups. Later, I advertised and founded my own. We meet monthly in a café for coffee. It’s become a sanctuary – a safe place to vent with other business owners who understand what it’s like to put yourself out there every day.
Today, I consult for fashion start-ups – helping them to turn a raw idea into a fully designed, successful collection. Their brand is their baby, so I hand-hold them throughout the process – opening doors in what can be a closed industry.
It’s a privilege to be involved with so many exciting entrepreneurs!
Photo credit: Helen Green Photography