Owner, Kat Maconie, aged 28
After two years at Whistles, working on buying and product development, Kat Maconie moved into fashion recruitment and began creating her label part time during her holidays. Once her stockist count reached 25, Maconie went full time.
Her success is largely down to her attention to detail. “Quality control everything before it leaves the factory,” she advises. “In my first season 1,000 pairs [of shoes] got shipped faulty and I had to get them all remade in under two weeks to meet delivery dates. I have now moved factory and work with a team of excellent quality controllers.”
Making a profit in 2012 and accompanying David Cameron on a trade delegation to Brazil last October have been Maconie’s biggest achievements. “My mentor is [former Ben Sherman managing director] Stephen Gill,” she says, now a director at Kat Maconie. “He introduced me to a network of excellent distributors, agents and suppliers and has guided my business into a profitable one. Richard Kottler and Nicholas Perry Billing at the British Footwear Association and Barbara Wilson who heads the fashion division at UKTI are always on the phone to offer advice.
The best advice I was given was from luxury fashion consultant David Jones: ‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity’.”