Mentoring established fashion brand to enable owner to enter the sector as a PAYE employee.

  • slide 0

Even though Kimberley Withington founder and sole owner of Filthy Squirrel Clothing gained a degree in Fashion and has successfully run her own business for many years she has never had a job in the sector. Her wish is to gain full time industry employment utilizing her skills and experience to ensure financial stability.

Step 1

1) Advise Kimberley of the types of roles available in the sector and the qualifications/skills and experience required.

Ruth of the Labs explained to Kimberley that there are many varied roles available in Fashion and Textiles not just working as a designer. They each had a pathway that individuals usually followed and required certain attributes to be able to apply for them. Such as Buyer, Garment technician, Product Developer and Pattern Cutter.

Links & Media
Step 2

2) Discover which roles Kimberley would be most interested in acquiring.

Ruth discussed in detail which aspects of her business Kimberley enjoyed doing the most, her skills and qualifications and to which roles they might best be suited.

Step 3

3) Creating a pathway for the specific role and guiding Kimberley through the application and interview process.

It was established that Kimberley preferred the product development and pattern making side of Fashion. Thus roles as a Garment Technician, Pattern Maker, Product Developer would best be suited. Ruth explained that Kimberley's experience and qualifications would give her enough leverage to apply for industry roles. But that it would depend on the size of the company and it's infrastructure if it would be an assistant/junior role or senior role to begin with.
Ruth knew that Kimberley had the knowledge and experience to know how to practically do the roles, however as she had no previous company experience she may need to start a little lower to give her the opportunity to get to grips with procedures and terminology.

Step 4

4) Sourcing potential roles and preparation.

Now that they had established the types of roles that Kimberley would like to apply for Ruth was on hand to guide her on which ones she would be able to fulfill as well as the salary level she could enter at and how to prepare her folio and C.V.

Step 5

5) Application letter and salary expectations

Kimberley found a job within a commutable distance for a well know bag manufacturer. Ruth discussed this with her and helped her write her initial application letter. To which the company replied, they asked Kimberley what her salary expectations would be. Ruth was able to discuss with her what Kimberley needed to earn to cover her travel and living expenses and then put that into a reasonable annual salary for the role/level of job that she was applying for. Ruth again helped her to write a letter in response.

Step 6

6) The Interview and outcome

The company offered Kimberley an interview which was a promising result. Unfortunately, even though she interviewed well the company decided to offer the role to someone who had already held positions in this specific product area.

Step 7

7) Further training/ guidance

Ruth has arranged to give Kimberley some one to one training in the Design Lab of the terminology and processes used in Industry to better prepare her for a job. Kimberley will continue to apply for positions and will hopefully gain employment soon.


Kimberley has all the tools and attributes to gain the perfect industry role; yet does not have the necessary experience to make this happen and kick start her new career. Through the guidance of Ruth of The Textile Centre this will be accomplished quicker and more effectively saving time and eliminating potential mistakes and stress.