With the help of the NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd (NBV) Ready for Business Programme, many budding new entrepreneurs in the East Midlands are making their dreams a reality and starting their own business. Samaira Ghani is one such entrepreneur; a fashion designer with a degree in embroidery from Manchester Metropolitan University, Samaira needed business planning support to take her dream from business start-up, to the next level.
A unique approach to haute couture
Based in Nottingham, Samaira’s business, which she started in 2012, combines Eastern and Western influences. A mix of styles merge to create unique, haute couture pieces that are truly one offs. Samaira also offers a made to measure service to most of her clients, giving them an opportunity to get the dress they want. Samaira commented: “I wanted to be my own boss. I knew I had the talent and the passion for fashion and design, backed up by a relevant degree, so I knew I could really make it work!”
From talented start-up to industry player
Samaira was introduced to NBV Business Adviser David Hallam, who helped her develop her business plan and understand where she wanted to take her business next. Samaira said: “David helped me from the very first day. He helped me with my business plan and just supported me in getting my whole project on track.” David added: “We just needed to tweak the business plan really; Samaira had the products, ideas and the drive already!”
The support from David, combined with a 40% grant from Ready for Business, has taken Samaira’s business from talented start-up to real industry player. She moved to New York, showcased her designs in Dubai and has sold her designs to several large fashion houses. Samaira also dressed Sacha Brooks of Capital FM Birmingham, the presenter of the British Asian TV and Music Awards in October 2014.
Samaira enthused: “Since I started working with NBV, a huge, positive change has taken place within me personally and within my business. Going through the business planning process motivated me to take my business to the next level. The grant helped me to market my business for the first time and also gave me the opportunity to re brand, develop a company website, and produce a new collection and do a photo shoot for my launch.”
Of course, not everything in any business always goes to plan; sometimes her production team have missed deadlines and projects have been delayed, but learning from these experiences, Samaira adds: “After I encountered some delays, I moved all of my production line and suppliers to the UK. Now I can see all the work myself on a daily basis.”
Samaira has now been selected by the British Fashion Council to exhibit in the New Designer Section of London Fashion Week in both February and September 2015, where she’ll produce 20 different outfits for each show. Summarising her business start-up planning experience with NBV, Samaira concluded: “I would advise anyone facing the prospect of moving on from business start-up to contact NBV and make the most of the services and access to grants they have to offer. Why wouldn’t you?!”