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Interview with Award Winning Designer Samata Angel and founder of  Samatas’s Muse

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I’m sure everyone wants to know a bit more about you, can you please give a bit of background information about yourself?

I grew up in Cambridge and moved to London to study my undergraduate degree in Economics, Finance and Management. I basically used my time in London to get more involved in the creative industries namely music and fashion. I got involved in fashion shows backstage, assisted other designers and went to lots of networking parties. Graduating I worked as Head of PR for a Chelsea boutique and then Head of Marketing for a Japanese clothing label and it was these experiences that encouraged me to set up Samata’s Muse.

When did you start your business and what inspired you?

I think I was inspired to start my label after working for a boutique in Chelsea, London. I was surrounded by beautiful clothing and definitely got more of an understanding of how a boutique operated, how designers sold their clothing and the details buyers looked at. The shop was so beautiful and the clothing was so inspirational I knew I wanted to do something of my own.

You are some fantastic support from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, dawn (Danity kane) and Gwen Stefani, How did that happen and how does it feel?

I think that I am very passionate and hard-working so that definitely helped me network in the industry and create opportunities. I also had some great business mentors who give me the time of day so these elements combined create opportunities. Once your name starts getting out there people start coming to you too. Dawn Richards got in touch with me after seeing my label profiled on a popular website, others I met contacts for at industry parties. To be honest it is more important for me to get my brand out there and in communication with my target audience than with celebrities.

I mean your spring/summer 2008 collection was unveiled in September at the nolcha fashion week in New York, which is fantastic, how did that feel and when should we be expecting your next collection?

That was a really great and also stressful time as there was just so much to get done but it was all worth it – it got me connected with a global audience. I think I learnt a great deal from that experience and what it takes to be a global brand, which is what I am building up towards.

How did you raise money for your business?

I worked and got individual sponsors. Organisations like Business Link assisted with advice and direction too.

How do you promote your brand? And how effective has it been?

I create a good online presence and do what most designers do such as taking part in shows and events and being as active as possible. It has been effective in landing me interviews with the likes of LOOK, Big Issue and Pride magazine.

Samata

Do you read any books that you would to recommend to all the entrepreneurs out there?

I read autobiographies to keep me motivated and inspired and just to remind me of what goes into reaching a level of success. Right now I am reading Ander Leon Talley’s. Terry Mansfield gave me this great book called Moving On Up edited by Sarah Brown who collated inspirational real life stories by extraordinary men and women such as Richard Branson, Ridley Scott and Trevor McDonald. It’s fantastic.

Have you ever encountered any setbacks? How did you overcome it?

I think everyone does, it is just important to be able to stay focused and remember that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Not everything I do works out but I do my best and keep trying.

You wrote a book series called Fashioning your life, A clothing designer’s guide Volumes 1 & 2 last year, what inspired you to write a book? How is it going so far?
It was really whilst working in the fashion industry as a designer and doing various spots as a guest speaker at different business and enterprise events I noticed a need for a certain type of assistance for fashion designers. I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge in areas such as Marketing, PR and Trade Show participation. It is going really well, they sold out on Amazon in Canada and their success has definitely been helped by the contributions from the likes of photographer Nigel Barker (America’s Next Top Model), celebrity stylist Nick Ede (Project Catwalk ) and Jenny Holloway (Fashion Capital founder) who share brilliant advice in their relevant sectors

Can you tell us about how and why you got into “make your mark”?

In 2007 I was recommended for ambassadorship by Prime Minister Gordon Brown for national campaign Girls! Make Your Mark, a role which includes mentoring students and actively encouraging young people into enterprise through public speaking engagements. It is so rewarding!

Out of all the people you’ve met so far? Who’s your favourite?

I would say Dawn Richards from Making the Band’s Danity Kane. She is such a professional who is graceful under pressure and a genuine talent.

Who is your role model/influence?

I have lots! Oprah Winfrey, Terry Mansfield (Chairman of Graduate Fashion Week), Charles Thompson, my family, the list goes on!

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Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur/designer at the moment?

I have a number of favourites, I love watching to see what is coming up so I attend the Graduate Fashion Week shows and end of year shows. I can’t name one favourite!

What would you say to young entrepreneurs out there, trying to start up their own business?

I would say be yourself, be open minded and learn how to create learning opportunities for yourself – be at the right events, have your own unique style and make an effort to talk to people! Too often designers get intimidated by the flashy events but people are just people.

Do you think recession is a bad time to start up a business?

I am not a huge fan of scaremongerers and I feel that the ‘current economic climate’ is a phrase which is starting to grate on me due to the hugely negative connotations it is given. My feeling is that particularly for entrepreneurs, the ability to think of solutions is not that impossible – the recession means a tough environment but one in which we can flourish nonetheless for a number of reasons including reduced competition and lower costs.

What do you think is key in starting a fashion company, or qualities needed to succeed in the fashion industry?

Success involves having a number of qualities including exceptional creative talent and ability, a keen eye for detail and good communication skills.

So what should be expecting from you in the future?

More clothing ranges, maybe branching into accessories, more educational projects and more creativity!

Finally, before you go can you tell us why you’ve been this successful, what’s your secret?

All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.

Thank you so much Samata for your time.

Contact and Follow Samata

Samata’s Muse
www.samatasmuse.com

Blog with Samata: http://samatasmusings.blogspot.com
Twitter Samata Angel here: www.twitter.com/samataangel

www.youtube.com/user/samatasmuse
www.myspace.com/samatas_muse

Samata’s guide book series has now launched! Visit http://stores.lulu.com/samataangel to pick one up and support Britain’s Favourite Designer.

For further information about Samata’s Muse visit: www.samatamuse.com

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According to the BBC

The online fashion retailer Asos has reported a 93% rise in its annual profits, after a four-fold increase in its international sales.

Pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of March came in at £14.1m, up from £7.3m a year earlier.

The company said the results showed the “strength of the internet” for retailers, but added it would be “more conservative” in the year ahead.

International sales at the group rose to £32m from £8m a year ago.

Asos, formerly known as As Seen on Screen, targets 16 to 34-year-olds with cut-price versions of designs worn by celebrities.

“[The results] highlight the strength of the internet as a retail channel and its potential position in the retail landscape of the future,” said Asos chairman Lord Alli.

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Interview with Clive Mensah, founder of Rametré

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Rametré is a fresh and unique Clothing Brand coming to a store near you coming straight out da LDN. We take pride in making our customers feel different to everybody else in the way they feel and the way they look.

Hey Clive, how’re you doing today?

“I’m fine thanks the suns out so it’s all good.”

When was Rametré started, why the name?

“Well the Label was originally called R.A clothing which was the initials of my Grandmother who passed away in 2004. And are slogan was more than royalty. But R.A clothing didn’t have any ummmm… how should I put this It didn’t have that X factor. So I took the letters R A and used the abbreviation of the old slogan which is MTR so I was left with RAMTR so I just put two E’s in it to make sense and RAMETRE was born. It’s quite long I know but I feel it’s a name you won’t forget.
Since then the name has been getting around quite well I have been doing shows all around England and universities and grinding hard to get that exposure.

Can you give some background information on yourself?

Well im 20. Soon to be 21 next month God willing, I am also a Christian. I study Fashion Promotion at University of the creative arts, and was born and raised in South East London Peckham, with one older sister Yvette, we where both brought up with a Ghanaian upbringing. And anyone that is Ghanaian or from an African decent would know what that like. (Laughter)

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What inspired you to start up a business, especially a clothing line?

When I first started out I didn’t intend to create a business or clothing line I started out painting stencils on t-shirts for local MC’S around the area and I used to do little alterations for family members. And making African outfits for events like Ghana Independence, Nigerian Independence and various other events. But I have always been a person to try and get my hands on something that was exclusive that no one had. but I had trouble achieving this .because no matter what I got my hands on I knew deep down there is someone out there wearing the exact same thing. So I got into the habit of customizing any garment that I bought whether it was ripping my jeans to painting my trainers blue I would customize it. So then the idea came to me when I was on holiday in Ghana I saw so many designers and colours in the motherland that I thought I need to get in on this action. So as soon as I came back to London I went straight to work creating my own thing.

What do you think it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

I think to be a successful entrepreneur you have to know your business like the back of your hand; many entrepreneurs out there tend to think about the money so much that they forget the skills that they obtained before they got to the stage that they are in. So I think the best way to stay successful is to keep studying and learning your business and everything surrounding it.

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Who are your competitors?

NO ONE I’m in a league of my own (laughter) nah I’m joking! I would say everyone in the street wear Industry or even fashion industry because you can never under estimate anyone. Everyone is always trying to come out with something fresh and exciting but my role is to take away that labels Buzz. And the only way to do that is to come out with something new that has never been done. You have to have a sense of uniqueness in this industry to survive.

Who are your target markets?

My target market would be anyone one that into street wear I don’t design clothes thinking “hmm I’m going to make this for someone aged between 14 to 30” my thing has always been if you like it buy it and if you don’t leave it for someone who does.

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Do you have any role model/influence?

God is my Role models no one else because I try to live by his word each day. Umm in terms people in the fashion industry I couldn’t tell you. Don’t get me wrong there are some quality designers from Yohji Yamamoto (Y3) to Ingo (founder of bathing apes) but I wouldn’t call them my role models. May be its arrogance in me I don’t know (Laughter). But in terms of influences I would say my BIGGEST influence is London city, I love my city with a passion and I try to express this in my designs. I really need to touch Trafalgar square and by one of them I heart London t shirts (Laughter)…

What are your likes/dislikes in the industry?

Well I have soooooo many if I was to name them all we would be here till 2018 but I would say one of them would be these rappers or musicians or just any of these so called celebrities coming out all these clothing lines. I personally think its gone way passed ridiculous now. Especially these rappers coming on the television saying “I’ve got this clothing line coming out its different it’s something that never been done before it’s a new look view designed it all” when you know they have no knowledge of the fashion industry. All it is to them is a just a little project. When you’ve got so many talented and passionate designers trying to push themselves into the industry but are blocked by money hungry celebrities. And the thing that hurts the most is that the general public are more likely to embrace them then someone that is just as good or maybe even better. This is a shame!!

Do you feel the recession is the best time to start a business?

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The recession is not an ideal time to open a business but nevertheless you never know when or how the recession is going to end. So I feel if you really want to start your own business I would suggest you do it when you feel you are ready personally.

How did you raise money for your business?

Well I used to sell t-shirts with my logo which was a Pitbull printed on it. And also do alterations for people so it was like the money I made of that I just started stacking and stacking. Until I was able to register myself as a company and actually put some money towards it.

What is the most important lesson that you’ve learnt from your road to success so far?

I would say the most important lesson is that in this industry you can’t wait for any handouts you have to get out there and grind on your own no-one is just going to come and say” hey you there I want to put you in a show” if you don’t put that hard work in you have to push yourself to the full extent and try and get yourself noticed.

What are your advices to any young entrepreneur out there trying to start up their own business?

As aspiring entrepreneurs your duty is to make money because at the end of the day it’s a business orientated field. But the most important thing is have a passion for whatever your doing if theres no passion it’s not worth doing trust me.

What should be expecting from you in the future?

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Look out for the summer release. We are doing collaboration with a surprise company so that should be big. Which is due for release early July? Also look out for the 2010 collection it’s going to be pure fire.

Thanks for your time and we wish you the best in the future.

Contact Rametré @

Facebook
ckmensah@hotmail.co.uk

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Unfortunately just as an online shop.

Do you feel this will work??

check out the site

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Now, I’m sure you all know who he is, and if not, im sure you all use the social networking site called facebook, well, he and his buddies created that website.

Let’s look at 5 things you should know about mark

Mark is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur, he is also the CEO of Facebook.

Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room on February 4, 2004.

On October 24, 2007, Facebook Inc. sold a 1.6% stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, evaluating facebbok at $15 billion at the time of the sale.

In 2008, Forbes ranked Zuckerberg as the 321st richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. He is the youngest person ever to appear on the Forbes 400.

Time Magazine added Zuckerberg as one of The World’s Most Influential People of 2008.

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