How I launched my own fashion brand ‘The Lord Label’
Meet third year BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion student Charlotte Lord. Charlotte launched her own fashion label in 2019, when she first started at NUA.
We caught up with her to find out just how she does it alongside her studies, and ask her top tips for anyone wanting to start their own business.
When and why did you decide to launch a fashion label?
I launched The Lord Label in February of 2019. I was in my first year of BA Fashion Communication and Promotion at NUA when I decided to harness my passion into something physical.
With a wealth of fashion knowledge, industry networks and retail experience, I had a vision to create a brand that offered stylish clothing and accessories for all women regardless of boundaries such as age, size, or shape. So I did just that.
How did you do it?
I spent a lot of time gaining inspiration from other fashion labels and designers to decide on the type of personality that I wanted the brand to emit. I curated a list of suppliers that I wanted to work with, built a website and curated the first collection.
I networked with bloggers and fellow independent businesses and launched it into the big wide world. I believe with these sorts of things; you just have to “go for it!”
Is there anything you’ve learned since studying FCP that you’ve been able to apply to your own business?
So many things! The nicest thing about launching the business while at uni is that I got to learn as I went along. Mainly how to market the brand and reach my target audience but even small things like how to create a budget and how to conduct a photography shoot.
Many of the models I have used are from my course too. I am very grateful for my time on FCP and for the network of people that I have met.
How do you source your stock?
As I mentioned above, I spent a lot of time, in the beginning, curating a list of suppliers and stockists that I wanted to work with. I reached out to them and have since built a good rapport. They often contact me with suggestions of items that will fit my brand, or I will create trend boards and mood boards and then buy pieces that I would like to feature in the upcoming collections.
What are your aims for the business?
The next aim is to meet with our lovely customers, including those that we’ve built up over the pandemic.
As an online business it is rare that we get the opportunity to chat with them, but it is my passion to build client relationships. So, I am hoping that when Covid-19 restrictions allow we can open a pop up shop where I will get the chance to meet with our customers and give them the opportunity to try on and see our pieces in person.
What’s been the most challenging part of running your own label?
The most challenging aspect is not being able to predict events. I thought that I was pretty organised when it came to planning and creating trend boards but I could not have predicted that our best seller of 2020 would have been face coverings.
The Covid-19 pandemic is challenging for everybody. When your offering is fashion and accessories during a time when nobody can dress up or go anywhere… it is extremely tough. However, with challenges come opportunities. We now have the opportunity to navigate how people will shop and dress from now on which is very exciting.
"With challenges come opportunities. We now have the opportunity to navigate how people will shop and dress from now on which is very exciting"
And what about the proudest moment of running your own label?
My proudest moment has been creating a bank of loyal customers that love shopping from our collections and wearing our pieces. My mission was always to empower women to feel confident and stylish. When I receive feedback and see gorgeous images of ladies doing just that, it is a massive achievement.
What advice would you give other creatives who may be thinking of starting a business?
My advice would be that if it is your passion, just go for it! You don’t need to have all the tools at the beginning, you will learn a lot of them during the process which I think, makes it all the more fun!
Another piece of advice would be to network, build connections with people around you. More often than not they will be willing to help you and support you, a little shout out goes a long way.