Female Entrepreneur: Jelena Fehmi
Company: Dea London Ltd
Age range: 40s
What motivated you to start your business?
I’ve been running a bespoke studio for over 15 years, providing clients with high quality professional work wear. With size 18 being the UK average size, it is hard to believe that there are no brands that satisfy the demands of a fashionable curvy women. I formed DeaLondon to provide a tailored approach to meet the requirements of these busy professional women.
Tell us about your business.
Most designer labels take products designed for sizes 8-10 and grade them up for larger sizes using the same fabric and print template. These fail to bring out the natural beauty of a fuller body shape. DeaLondon takes a different approach to Plus size fashion, specially tailoring designs for four figure types: Apple, Pear, V Shape and Hourglass. Correctly balanced cutting lines, combined with the finest UK fabrics form a fashionable collection suitable for the career focused woman.
What is a day in the life of you like?
We operate as a small focused team to ensure that collections are produced quickly and to the highest standard. Depending on the time of year, my tasks vary. If I am working on a new collection, then most of my time is spent in the studio with my seamstress and machinists. If the collection is ready, then I spend time listening to client’s feedback, adjusting the collection and generally working on the administrative side of the business.
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
Managing to find enough hours in the day!
How did you overcome these challenges?
Efficient time management and delegation of tasks – a strong coffee is also a must.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
Word of mouth is beautifully effective, a satisfied client will return for more and bring their friends and work colleagues.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Be knowledgable about the market, ensure that your are comfortable with the administrative part of the business, be ready to accept constructive criticism and adopt to the market quickly.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have my motivation mood board in my studio, just one glance at it and I keep moving forward. Friends and family are the pillars of my life.
What’s your favourite quote?
Sewing mends the soul.
Who inspires you?
Marilyn Monroe – she rose from childhood poverty to become one of the most iconic film legends. Her lasting fame came through her aura of glamour, style and sophistication.
Do you have a business philosophy?
Love what you are doing, be enthusiastic and the role model for you team. Plan well ahead and believe in yourself.
Get in touch…