The new year is here and so is my new found focus for my business Tania Swift.
Here I will share my experience of starting the brand, successes and hurdles I have encountered, which will hopefully inspire other budding entrepreneurs and create a forum of support but more importantly keep me on my toes.
To contextualise the brand...
I began experimenting and focussing on my core concept, which was inspired by a certain fashion magazine and the lack of black and minority ethnic (BME) women within it. I recall as a child how I found it difficult to align myself with anyone in mainstream media who was similar to me, a mixed race girl growing up in the 1980's. Sadly flicking through the pages of established and contemporary magazines today the lack of BME woman on par with Caucasian women is still an issue. Despite this, this became the catalyst, I began experimenting with all of my favourite mediums, drawings, mono printing, embroidery, collage, mixed media using selected pages with BME women on them and slowly pieces came together that I really liked, which were then digitally manipulated.
For a long time I wanted to use my creativity in conjunction with textiles or fashion to underpin my ideas that a gallery couldn't. Not to mention how notoriously difficult is it to be an artist sadly university does not prepare you for that. But to be honest that space was not exciting to me. I had always been interested in the idea that people could be walking art works by wearing clothing as a canvas displaying concepts that are visually interesting as well as raising awareness of certain ideas / issues.
This was the start of the business and questioning how I can create one that is both commercially viable whilst allowing me to utilise and nurture my creativity. I attended a small business course, workshops at the British Library, learned about financial forecasting and created a business plan that was accepted and received a start up loan for Tania Swift Ltd.
So where is the business now? Logistically it has come a long way, I have registered the company with Companies House and my brand name is trademarked and officially recognised by the Intellectual Property Office. Samples have been printed to check the size, colour and fabric suitability along with a sample t-shirt pattern and toile.
The next step is securing the right digital textiles printers to run the prints and then to get the garments made - this is where my heart gathers momentum and the anxiety kicks in, making Tania Swift the brand a reality.
Watch this space...
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