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Folk is quietly stylish clothing enriched by subtle details: style without drama.

Our collections are approachable, the name Folk implies something democratic, for everyone.

How did it all begin?

My talented brother couldn’t find well made, well priced, unbranded clothing that he loved and so Folk was born, he wanted to create a clothing line that had high production values, attention to every details and would stand the test of time. He asked me to help him bring it to life and here we are 20+ years later.

What sets your business apart?

Remaining independent, fastidious attention to detail, our artist collaborations.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Well made, well priced clothes that last.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

Keeping the brand fresh through interesting collaborations, continually reviewing and improving what we do and ensure that we continue to produce product that we are proud of.

Maggie Smart

Co-founder of


What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

Creating businesses that stand the test of time.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

My parents died when I was in my early twenties. The experience provided me with resilience and strength that I still draw on today. It taught me that life is short and not to be afraid on failure and instead I chose to reframe failure as useful experience

Highlights of your business journey so far?

Opening our first London store was very special.

Being asked to join the advisory board of The British School of Fashion this year and engage with and help the fashion leaders of tomorrow has been fantastic.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

Failure is useful experience.

It is better to chalk things up to experience than look back and wonder “what if?”

Best piece of advice you have received?

The key lessons above, wisdom shared by my mother before she passed away.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Be clear, don’t feel the need to over explain yourself and treat others as you would like to be treated.

Join The Women’s Chapter to meet like minded souls who will support you and lift you up when you are a little weary, it happens to the best of us and entrepreneurship can at times feel lonely.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

We are self-funded, years of bootstrapping. The landscape is quite different now though and so when we launched our golf brand Sounder we have used EIS investment.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

My continual challenge is how to find and maintain a work life balance. I’m not quite there with overcoming this particular challenge but I am trying!

Why is it important to support women-led business?

Gender parity, innovation, overall economic growth and female economic empowerment.




Maggie Smart

My inspiration is...

My family.

My greatest fear is...

Living with regrets.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Taken on cancer and won.

Guilty pleasure?

Milk duds.

Mantra you live by?

Better to look back and reflect than look back and regret.

Female role model?

My Mum’s best friend Lorna who lives life to the full even at 75.

Women-led brand you love?

Wilder Botanics.

Top productivity tool?

Turning everything to flight mode and having some deep focus time.

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