As part of our Soho Female Founders series we caught up with Sarah Hollebon, a Savile Row trained tailor and mental health activist, in her studio just off Carnaby Street…
Tell us about what you do, and how long you’ve been doing it for.
As a fashion designer, I explore and raise awareness of social issues worldwide. My background is bespoke tailoring, and I was trained by a Savile Row waistcoat maker. I now implement that specialised training into each garment produced.
I am also a mental health advocate spending time campaigning and giving public talks. I launched my business and brand seven months ago.
What’s your connection to Soho?
Seven months ago I was lucky to secure studio space on 26 Kingly Street for 2 years through Shaftesbury and London College of Fashion.
What made you want to decide to start your own business?
A year ago, I realised in order to carry on with my goals and aspirations in the fashion industry, I would use my creative talent to create positive change in this world through my work.
Designing and creating garments is what feeds my soul, I am happiest when I am submerged in these areas.
I feel my garments ‘speak’ volumes and convey an important visual message rather than just a pretty piece of clothing on the rail to buy.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of being a woman in your industry?
Disadvantage: I think as a female, there is still this division where the male sometimes dominates the room and can over talk in conversation thinking females will quieten and let it slide, however gender equality is improving in every aspect of life, so let us stand tall!
Advantage: women are shining through and paving the way for younger females more than ever before, in an industry that was once male, 2020 is an exciting time for female tailors.
What advice would you give another women wanting to start a business or become self-employed?
Starting a fashion brand is both creative and a business. Striking your own balance between the two is vital. On a weekly basis, check your cash flow and reflect on your time management. Follow your dreams and be open minded.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Meditate more. Meditating is healthy for your mind, body, and soul …. how are you going to run a business and take care of your health without these 3 fundamental strengths?
Find out more about Sarah’s upcoming projects, follow her on Instagram @sarah_hollebon
Photos: Kai aka The Soho Girl
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