AN INTERVIEW WITH SIMON CARTER

So who is Simon Carter? A sound businessman and a menswear designer who sold his first product in 1985. He is renowned throughout the UK and an ambassador/advisor to many small businesses, which is when we first got taking. As a small business such as my Hawkins & Shepherd shirtmakers and working every hour possible to grow the business - it is nice to talk through the finer details with someone like Simon who has been successful in the industry for a very long time.

After getting some very sound advise from the man himself, he kindly answered the below questions, that I thought I would share with you.

Q1. How long have you been in the fashion industry? 

31 years.

Q2. How did your career start, what were your goals and looking back now, how has your journey matched up to your goals back then? 

It began as a hobby so my goals were quite modest. My aim 31 years ago was to grow the business so it could move from a hobby to a profession so that's worked out. My goals now are to be a global brand of quality, well made affordable menswear. I'm getting there. 

Q3. What does the Simon Carter name embody? 

A sense of style rather than fashion; a shared aesthetic, a recognition of good design.

Q4. Getting meetings with you is hard! Are you a workaholic or insistent on having a work-life balance? 

I do try to make enough time to enjoy the hard work, though it is fair to say that my working day is very busy and I call it the tyranny of my timetable. 

Q5. For businesses starting up in the industry, can you offer any small gems of advice? 

Build in a wholesale margin, even if you don't plan to wholesale yet. One day you might. Then it'll be too late, as you will have established a price architecture and that's difficult to change. 

Q6. Outside of business, what interests do you have? 

I'm a keen and good croquet player (I've played for England); I love classic cars and architecture. Oh, and good food.