‘I think I made a big mistake moving to a bigger company’

Tell Me About It: I moved my team to a well-known brand and lost them all in the process

‘I have lost my best friends [in the fashion industry] who believe that I have abandoned them in my search for wealth and fame.’ Photograph: iStock

‘I have lost my best friends [in the fashion industry] who believe that I have abandoned them in my search for wealth and fame.’ Photograph: iStock

Question: I think that I have done something really stupid. Since I left college 10 years ago I have worked in the clothes design industry. I ran a small design studio and employed a small group of like-minded people where we had great fun, enjoyed each other’s company and made a small but viable income reaching a small market of well-regarded local boutiques. We always dreamed about making it big, but were more or less satisfied with our lot.

About two years ago, while at a trade fair I met an agent for a large design label. He told me lots of amazing things about my designs and promised me the sun the moon and the stars. I paid little heed; I had met his type before and guessed that he was looking for a bed companion for his weekend in a foreign city. About nine months ago he made contact and said that he had been following my work online; he loved my progress and thought that my designs would have mass commercial appeal. It was at this point that I started to listen; he asked for a number of samples and set up a series of meetings.

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