City slicker turned designer, Britt Lintner juggles her luxury workwear brand with working at leading London hedge fund GLG Partners. Her collection is stocked in Harrods
‘It’s fun to be experimental but you have to be filling a need. Working in finance and having to look professional all the time, I knew there was a gap in the market for a women’s work wardrobe that was stylish too.
‘But I didn’t go in all guns blazing. I spent two or three years creating my business from my bedroom – researching the marketplace, building a website and cold calling wholesalers. Only then did I know the brand had the workings to succeed.
‘New businesses eat money for breakfast, so the key is investment. For me that was easy because I speak to investors every day but if you don’t have that luxury, it’s all about meeting people and networking.
‘Force yourself to go to events after work no matter how much you want to crawl into bed. I met Harrods Managing Director Michael Ward at the Brand of Tomorrow Awards and the next thing I was talking to the head buyer. Now they’re both my mentors.
It’s easy to forget about the business aspect when starting out – it’s all a fairytale of creativity and ideas. But don’t get carried away. If your concept isn’t sustainable, it’s a waste of time.
Every week a businesswoman or professional from Marie Claire’s Inspire & Mentor campaign posts their favourite piece of career advice.