A support network for independent fashion startups and brands in Scotland, Fashioned in Glasgow is basically what every indie designer dreams of. Ran by Aimee Bride and Alison Malcolm. they are putting Scotland on the British fashion map. Working as a designers one-stop business shop, FIG help turn their dreams - and designs - into a business, supporting them at every stage of their development. From mentoring, studio space and machinery to finding affordable manufacturing, the aim is to plant the city even more firmly on the style map, create jobs, and boost the economy with successful and innovative brands. Wanna know how they do it? So do we, so let's find out what a day in the life of one half of the business, Aimee Bride.
Tell us a little bit about what you do?
I run Fashioned In Glasgow- a support service for fashion designers who are based throughout Scotland. I also lecture in Fashion design, manufacture and business for half of the week.
How did you get into this business?
I studied fashion design and manufacture at college and then university. A year after graduating I set up my own business in bespoke bridal design and worked from a bridal store as the bride's alternative to buying off the rail. Whilst running this I trained as a handbag designer with a Japanese luxury leather company based in Ayrshire. I decided I wanted to dedicate my entire time to my business and stepped away from this- opening my own boutique a year later. I started teaching in Fashion for a number of different places before becoming a lecturer at Glasgow Kelvin College (previously North Glasgow- where I had originally started all those years ago). I met Alison- fellow FIG director - while lecturing and we both created the concept of Fashioned In Glasgow based on our own experiences as well as feedback from ex-students.
Take us through a typical day, what time do you get up at?
It varies but normally between 6am - 6.30am. Firstly I need to find my glasses...then shower to waken me up, have a glass of water and a cup of decaf green tea.
What do you have for breakfast?
Usually cereal, sometime I'll also make a smoothie with lots of spinach and berries to have after. If I have more time I'll make an omlette or poached eggs- I have a slight egg obsession!!
How do you keep yourself organised?
It's difficult when there is so much going on each day. I keep myself right by writing lists, I have a lists book and I also have a list next to my home page on my phone. When I go to bed at night sometimes I'll write a list for the next day so that I feel organised and then I'll sleep well!
Tell us how you structure your day...
On a FIG day, I get up get ready and head to work as soon as I can. More often than not, myself and Alison will be in from 7.30am and would normally be in until 6pm or later.
What we will be working on will depend on what task is most urgent. At the moment we are running the factory as well as the studio spaces, so if we have a big order booked in then we will be helping with cutting, sometimes jumping on the specialist machines to help with production as well as liaising with clients.
We usually book client consultation on Tuesdays and we will both meet with any new clients to make sure we are as thorough with our process as possible.
We also interact a lot with the designers when they are in and around their studios- that's the beauty of everything being so open plan. We also meet more formally with the designers for mentoring meetings once a month.
Alison and I usually only have time for FIG business meetings during a morning coffee break or over lunchtime. We will sometimes start the day with outstanding emails if we haven't had time to do this at night.
What time do you finish work?
Normally between 6pm and 7pm- it's a treat if we can leave earlier!
How do you wind down?
When I get in from work my amazing husband has usually made a delicious meal for us (he is an excellent cook and I know that I am really lucky to have him organise this!) We will eat together then normally chill out with a good boxset! We just finished 'Thirteen reasons why on Netflix, it's really gripping!
Sometimes depending on how much work load there is, I'll send some emails, work on our social media plan or prep schedules. But I try to cut off as much as possible so that i am ready to start the next day!
What's your bed time?
Usually I head to bed at around 11pm. It completely depends on how tired I am- at the moment I have been falling asleep much sooner. (I must need it)
Any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Working for yourself is one of the most amazing things, but it takes complete dedication. You need to be passionate but realistic, you need to be willing to working your arse off for nothing at the beginning until your business grows. You also need to be resilient and ready to take on anything that can be thrown at you, however- it is one of the most rewarding experiences!!