First off, welcome to my new section! Every week I’ll be hooking you up with 5 questions with some super inspiring women with stories to tell. We can all thank Sophia Amoruso for bringing the term #GIRLBOSS into our vocabulary, but really, I like to think that we’ve always been pretty familiar with the idea of strong, trailblazing, badass women who run the show, so lets get to know and celebrate some! First up we are talking to Aimee Bride and Alison Malcolm, AKA the brains behind new Scottish design initiative, Fashioned in Glasgow,
Hey ladies! Let me just say, I am SUPER EXCITED about your new business Fashioned in Glasgow. For my readers, can you tell me how you met and how initiative came about?
Hi Sheri! We are soooo excited about Fashioned in Glasgow. We’ve been working together as fashion lecturers in Scotland for the past three years and have found that so many students need to move down south to find jobs or struggle to set up their own business when they graduate. We felt there was a need to build a community, a support network to help them get set up and fulfil their dreams. There was also a lack of manufacturing facilities that offered affordable small production runs for the start-ups. Many factories have minimum orders that new brands cannot afford.
It was a mixture of all of the above that we decided to set up Fashioned in Glasgow (a non-profit social enterprise) as a complete support service, offering members affordable studio space, access to industrial machinery, pattern cutting tables, business mentoring and workshops. Alongside this, in the same premises, there is the manufacturing facility offering affordable sampling, pattern cutting and small to large scale production runs. We will also be offering community sewing classes to encourage more people to get into fashion.
Wow. What an incredible opportunity! Everyone knows that local Scottish design is totally my jam, so I got all kinds of excited when I heard what you guys are up to. Although you’ve had some funding to get the business off the ground, you launched your Kickstarter last week. Can you tell everyone a bit about it and why they should donate?
Of course! As you mentioned, we received some funding from both First Port and Glasgow City Council which we are so grateful for. This will help us purchase all of our machinery and furniture. We just need one final push for funding to help get us into our premises. The Kickstarter offers fantastic rewards including ‘buy a brick’ where you will get your name painted on our wall of support, limited edition Isolated Heroes T-shirts, limited run scarfs, discounted manufacture, discounted studio spaces and hot desking. This is a fantastic cause that will help revitalise the Scottish fashion industry, create jobs, encourage entrepreneurialism and give fashion students a place where they can gain industrial work experience and internships. We would love everyone’s support to get this up and running if each person who reads this article could ‘buy a brick’ they will be personally invested in this project, helping develop our home grown talent as well as helping to grow the local economy.
Jobs, local manufacturing, mentoring, it’s basically a one stop shop for nurturing Scottish design! You just announced that you were moving into Glasgow’s Mercat Cross, what do you plan on doing with all that beautiful space and do designers need to be from Glasgow to apply?
Not at all, we are open to every designer around the country, but our premises where everything is based will be in Glasgow. We just confirmed the exciting Mercat Cross news at the launch party last week! It’s such a fantastic historical building right in the middle of an area of the city that is growing as a creative hub, so we are very excited to add to that. We are going to create an open plan bright space that encourages collaboration and nourishes these designers. The building is full of character and has a fashion vibe already- we can’t wait to get in and get started! We have a three tiered membership scheme. Each full-time member will have their own studio space, a space to have all of their creativity up on their wall. Part-time members will have access to hot-desks 10 days per month, as well as annual membership which includes the discount manufacturing and other benefits. But really, we’re here to help, inspire and grow the indiependent design community in Scotland.
It all sounds so fantastic and inspiring, what an incredible opportunity! I love that your limits don’t just stop in Glasgow. You are also the ladies who have helped one of Dundee’s finest – and Scottish favourites – Isolated Heroes manufacture in the UK. Do you think Fashioned in Glasgow will help promote get people working in working manufacturing in Glasgow again?
100% We know loads of talented machinists and pattern cutters who go down a different path because there isn’t many jobs in these fields anymore. We have already hired one of our students to manufacture and we plan on hiring many more skilled workers for these roles as we grow!
Incredible! It sounds like there will be so much opportunity across the creative boards! Lastly, I want to know who’s your favourite Scottish designers at the moment and who should we be keeping an eye on? GIMMIE THE JUICE!
I don’t know if we could pick a favourite as there are so many talents in Scotland! We love Hayley Scanlan and Holly fulton and we obviously love Isolated Heroes with they’re quirky styling and amazing fabric choices!! New Glasgow brand Nu Black-who just launched last week- have a lovely ethos and strong identity with everything they do that it will be excited to see them grow! Finally locals Neon Ninja is starting to make waves within the fashion scene- with her cute and quirky digital print designs on street wear silhouettes this is definitely one to watch!
Thank you so much for your time guys, I am off to buy myself a brick and spread the word! So excited to have people like you nurturing our local design. The more designers we see coming and creating in Scotland, the better.
If you want to help support local design, or invest in yourself and your new fashion (ad)venture, you can do so by donating to their Kickstarter or even just sharing the link! Every little helps! Will you be supporting this local girl gang? Tweet them over at @FashionGlasgow and go ahead and like their Facebook page, you never know what (or who) you may discover there next.