Tuesday 11 February 2014
2Inspire Network Business Profile: Knots and Folds
In this 2Inspire Network profile we meet Geraldine Peclard, founder of Knots and Folds, a unique unisex fashion accessories label specialising in high-quality prints and social stories.
I cycle to my shared studio in North London ( we are seven textile artists/designer sharing a big studio!). I start the day by answering/writing emails and if I have something interesting to say I post it on social media. Depending on the time of the year, I design prints, develop products, deal with orders, network or do a lot of research. My day can change in a fraction of second so I need to be flexible. I have an evening part time job that gives me the break I need from the business and in the evening I come home with a fresh mind and write my ‘to do list’ for the next day.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I graduated in printed textiles design in July 2012 and started to freelance for a London based fashion designer. I quickly realised how un – socially sustainable the fashion world is, I hate the way business is made and the excuses used to justify it, so I decided to create my own label, one that would have social sustainability at heart. Each collection tells a social story and encourages conversation about difficult, taboo or simply ignored subjects. And I put a lot of effort in building quality relationship with my suppliers, customers and buyers. I know it will take some time to be recognised but I am also sure I am in this for the right reason, encourage change.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I have a few ‘victory moments’ but I could not say which one is the greatest. I am proud to be where I am today and to be constantly learning about business, people, and life.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
My biggest challenge has been to look at my business with an objective eye, sometimes and especially when you are from an art background, you can take criticism personally and fear comments on your work. Letting go of this fear and exposing myself to judgement made me grow so much as a person and as a business.
What are your future plans for the business?
For now I would like to focus a 100% in building a viable business, once we start making a significant profit I would like to register for social enterprise and be involved in more projects with a social battle using my creative skills.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
My answer is going to be quite generic, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have had difficulties and also great ‘victory moments’ I would not be where I am today without both. I often say that in an perfect world I would love to have known everything I have learned doing mistakes without having done them, but that’s not how it works…
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
When given the right and space to develop ideas and express themselves women build strong and interesting businesses, we are emotionally more receptive to our surroundings and have the bigger picture in mind. More women need to be inspired to follow their dreams because we have the real potential to change things on a bigger scale.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
To start a business in fashion I have a few advices that are drawn from my personal experience. I would say: treat people well, try to make a difference in the way you approach your art - say something meaningful, create a business with a soul, stay passionate but make sure you don’t lose yourself in the industry, make time for yourself and for the people that supports you and love you.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
What inspires me the most is when I can give back and inspire other people to start developing their own potential.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
‘Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill
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