We’re not trying to change the world, but simply to dress the women who do!
Clothing the female professionals from Fortune 500 companies, British-made Sinclair London is a hidden gem for the women of power.
How did it all begin?
Ever since I was 9 years old, I have always wanted to be in the business of fashion. I had no real interest in going to university, but wanted to be hands on. If someone was to give me a drawing of a garment, I wanted to know I could make it from start to finish. The whole completed process. From there I started to map out what my career needed to look like: what skills did I need and where I needed to go to learn them. To run a business, I think you need a verity of skills. You wear multiple hats in business and I thought it was important to have some understanding of each department that makes up a business. That’s how I kicked off my career, first in couture bridal before moving to bespoke tailoring on Savile Row to an alteration tailor at Harvey Nichols to production manager and sales at a London couture fashion house.
What sets your business apart?
What sets Sinclair London apart from our competitors is the skills and experience the team has. As the founder I was trained by the late Princess Diana’s tailor, Professor Andrew Ramroop OBE, and was the first to enter the women’s only tailoring market in 2013. I still remain the only female Savile Row trained tailor in this space amongst my competitors. As a brand, we focus on fit and design, working with our clients to achieve garments they desire and will cherish. We also do a lot of elevated brand projects where we tailor garments for some of biggest films and series and our clients include BBC, Netflix, MGM and Sky.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
About 350,000 tonnes of unwanted fast fashion stock ends up in the UK landfill each year, and according to the Waste Resources Action Programme, fashion is the second most polluting and damaging industry in the world after oil. With having our own location to house our production, the team is able to produce garments at time of purchase, which in turn helps to reduce the rate of fast fashion, over consumption and gives us complete control over the quality we produce.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
The vision is to take the brand international. We have already have clients in UAE, US and Australia, but in order to grow, more resources are needed. I have a close-knit team who are brilliant at what they do. Over the next 12 months the idea would be to grow our internal team to be able to deliver on the larger strategies we have developed.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
Sustainability in the luxury industry, women’s rights, equality and inclusion
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
The one to one conversation I had with Stacey Cartwright at Harvey Nichols. Back then she was the former VP of Burberry and had moved to be the CEO of Harvey Nichols. She had the most amazing transformation ideas for Harvey Nichols. I remember sharing stories with her about the business I was creating and the advice and guidance she gave got me pumped to get going.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Key highlights would be working with a great team to make the bridal gown for the Princess of Qatar. Hosting a Women in Retail event at the E-Tail Global Conference. Being awarded the Positive Luxury accreditation for services to sustainability, equality and conscious design, and now officially a UN Women WEP’s member.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
Don’t try to do everything yourself. There is a reason why companies need teams. Everyone makes mistakes in business and faces challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Best piece of advice you have received?
There’s no time like the present. Take action now.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Learn your craft, no one can take that away from you. Grow your network so that you have an elite power black book of contacts.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Each business is different. For me I have always wanted to have a self-sustainable business so to begin with the business was self-funded. This way you answer to no-one but yourself. As we expand the business, we will look for external funding to support the growth of the business.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Cashflow is always a challenging one in any industry. The key I found is to develop multiple sources of revenue streams into the business. This way you can see which stream is the most cost effective and keeps the business afloat, but you can also look at the avenues which are worth investing in more.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
Statistics show that men get funded more than women. Men put themselves out there more even if they don’t have all the necessary credentials. There is strength in numbers and I feel that by supporting women we can not only learn from one another, but also support in the growth in one another’s companies.