This week I am interviewing Creative Director Chloe Hope King. Another very inspirational woman, and professional in the fashion industry, Chloe has started her own business and on asking her what her job title was her answer was ‘When starting your own company you actually end up wearing a lot of hats (so to speak) during the day to day running of the business! Each week I’m designer, maker, accountant, photographer, web designer.. the list goes on! But officially.. It’s Creative Director‘ which just goes to show the sheer hard work that goes into running your own business!
Name: Chloe Hope King
Job Title: Creative Director (Officially!)
Q – Who is your favourite artist or designer?
It’s so difficult to pick a favourite! I’m constantly meeting such talented and inspiring people. A few current favourites I’d highly recommend checking out the work of; Designer – Jewellery designer Rowenna Harrison has such a unique style and her craftsmanship is on point, I was lucky enough to have her exhibit her jewellery label Rosita Bonita at the Christmas fair of an event I organise, Intrigue Emporium, a melting pot of outrageously creative British manufacturing designers and makers; Artist – Gustav Klimt, I still cannot get enough of gold leaf and Illustrator – Nina Dogmetchi of Imagination Illustrated. We met a few weeks ago at Renegade Craft Fair and her work and gorgeous personality blew me away!
Q – Describe a typical day at work.
There really is no ‘typical day’. Day to day, season to season things are so different! Around the beginning of the year I get a little more time to design new collections, sample new pieces, get my admin in order, whereas in the run up to Christmas I’m doing markets/ pop-up shops every weekend and it’s pretty much all making, packaging, selling and the occasional pause for breath. For an example, here’s my plan for tomorrow –
- I like to miss rush hour on the trains so I’ll arrive to the studio around 10ish if I don’t have any appointments and settle myself down with a herbal tea (the first of around 10! I’m not a coffee drinker) and reply to my emails. Then get the days to do list in order. I usually will have done this roughly the night before but things usually need tweaking.
- Next I’ll get on and package orders and ship them out.
- I’ll be interviewing a few students who have applied to do a work placement internship with me as part of their studies in the early afternoon.
- Then I’ll be carrying on finishing off some final samples of new collection pieces, ready to be photographed early next week.
- In between all this I’ll be juggling replying to new emails, I usually try to only check at set times of the day, but with so many events coming up I need to keep an eye out just in case of any last minute emergencies! As well as updating social media and organising the folks who are working on promoting the event with me.
I aim to leave around 6 usually, but this certainly doesn’t happen every day. I have the Intrigue Emporium event I organise this weekend, Pulse tradeshow the weekend after and Bust Craftacular Spring Fair the weekend after that so I’m pretty busy getting the new collections, displays and admin sorted for that so I’ll probably leave around 8 or 9pm.
Q – What is your favourite part of your job?
Designing and making. As I’m sure many creative business owners will agree – I do wish I got to spend a lot more time doing it though!
Q – What are the main skills that you think are needed for your job?
Perseverance, sometimes it will feel like an insurmountable pile of work is ahead of me and late nights, especially in the early stages of a business are not uncommon.
A good sense of humour – things go right, things go wrong, I used to get terribly caught up in these things, now I just roll with it!
Multi-tasking, this one speaks for itself really, when starting up my business and it was just one then two people it was a case of getting stuck in with whatever needed to be done, whenever it needed to be done.
Q – What route did you take to get to where you are today?
I started A levels in Maths, Science (possibly Biology.. it was about 12 years ago so memory may not serve correctly!), Drama and Textiles, I then decided that I wanted to go the creative route so swapped out Maths and Science by A2 year for a BTEC in Fashion. Then I got my first job as a junior designer, designing prints and jersey wear for various high street retailers (ASOS, New Look, Freemans amongst others). The job advertised was for a graduate, I didn’t have a degree yet, but I wanted the job, and fortunately they liked me enough to let me have it! Then I went on to study at the London College of Fashion.
Q – Did you always know that you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
In a way yes.. I also ‘knew’ I wanted to be a police officer, Doctor, lawyer, chef, pilot, shop keeper, Peter Pan…
Q – What advice would you give to students hoping to start their own businesses in the fashion industry?
Again, be prepared. It’s going to cost you a lot in the first year – financially, emotionally, lack of sleep. If it’s really what you want to do though, it’s 100% worth every second of it! There will be no doubt times when you wonder if you should just give up, but overcoming those challenges is when it really feels like a huge achievement to look back on how far you’ve come.
A huge thank you to Chloe for allowing me to interview her and sharing her experiences with us! If you would like to see more of Chloe and her work, click on the links below: