Eyewear designer Tom Davies to share tips with city start-ups

Tom Davies, the designer of iconic eyewear worn by Heston Blumenthal and Ed Sheeran, is set to share his early experience of starting a fashion brand with city start-ups October 4.

Tom, who built his eponymous company in the mid 2000s, says he was motivated to speak because as a young man starting out, he would have benefited massively from the experience.

He said:

“I’m attending next week to share my experiences over the past 15 years. I’m doing this because I would have benefited from someone like me doing this 15 years ago.

“When I was starting out, I went to any event like this that I could. I networked (I still work with people I met at this stage of my growth) and I learnt.

“I’ve seen some of the other speakers and I would not want to miss the opportunity to grab as much information as possible.”

The day-long session at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery is designed to help young start-ups turn style into profit and is part of the Exchange series of events run by small business support group Enterprise Nation , which help to join big businesses up with small for trade.

It will also see ambitious fashionistas pick up chachet as they live pitch their designs to top buyers at Selfridges in front of a city audience.

The event will also hear from Rosie Wolfenden, one half of quirky ‘wearable art’  brand and British institution Tatty Devine and Oliver Bonas buyer and Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate Rebecca Jones will offer insight into what the high street brand is looking for when it comes to fashion and jewellery suppliers.

They will be joined by Henry Deakin, one half of Deakin & Francis, the city firm his family started in 1786 In the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Andrew Riley, editor of Style Birmingham is set to join a press panel to offer advice around how new brands can get their designs featured in the media. 

There will also be a chance to hear the start-up journeys of local fashion and jewellery brands including award-winning James Newman Jewellery and Hockley-based Crescent Silver.

Enterprise Nation’s Birmingham champ and event organiser Debbie Assinder said:

“Tom Davies is a real coup for us and he’s coming to do it for all the right reasons – he wants to pass on his knowledge, not gain exposure for his brand.

“While it’s not all about knowing the right people or being in the right place at the right time, the Fashion and Jewellery Exchange is a great opportunity to make the kind of contacts young brands need to take them to the next level – as well as hearing inspirational success stories and picking up the tips and skills needed to kick-start and run a successful retail business.”

A panel of top fashion PR experts will take questions from the floor on how to present a new brand and get noticed by the press.

The day starts at 10am and will be hosted by Emma Jones, MBE. 

Those interested in live pitching to Selfridges can apply at www.enterprisenation.com

Find out more and book tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-fashion-jewellery-exchange-birmingham-tickets-29206340952


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