Chantell Walters’ vision of luxury womenswear is embracing both femininity and innovation. Using this alongside sharp tailoring, futuristic aesthetics, and striking details, is what defines the Chantell Walters brand. Her collections celebrate the female form, empowering women and enabling them to exude confidence.
She launched her brand in 2009, with a collection of draped cocoon cardigans, that later became her signature. The brand has been consistently growing since its launch and has built up a strong following of celebrities and industry clientele allowing her to be featured in publications such Volt, The Huffington Post, NY times and Italian Vogue.
What was the catalyst that made you decide to go into business?
I have always felt like being my own boss. I went on a short course about entrepreneurship in 2007, where I was inspired by Aniete Eka to start my own label when I was 24 as opposed to later on in life. I knew it was something I wanted to do, but having my son really pushed me to start it sooner.
What was holding you back from being an entrepreneur at the time?
If I am honest the one thing that initially held me back was fear. I tried not to let that stop me but I was worried about failing. I believe that it is better to try and fail, than to never try at all. Money was also another factor. I was worried that I would not have enough money to pay my bills and pursue my dreams.
What was the best business advice you were given?
FOCUS – Follow On Course Until Successful. I was told that I should never give up, I may have to adapt my business or change the route slightly but never quit.
What is the most exciting thing happening in your sector right now?
The luxury goods market is still growing in places like China and other developing areas of the World. This is great news for my brand, because I am constantly told that I should think about changing my target market. I am excited about how much technology is helping small businesses to access people across the globe. I use Twitter Facebook and linked-in. I would like to have a live stream of a fashion show so my customers can view it across the World.
What are your customers demanding more from you at the moment?
My customers are demanding something unique that is value for money. They are tired of looking like everyone else but they still want a product that is worth it. I have continued to design clothes that are innovative, sophisticated and well made. My clothes are made in London, which gives me greater control over production and quality control.
What social media tool are you using at the moment?
I use Facebook and Twitter. I am still a huge fan of Facebook because it allows my customers and contacts to keep up to date with what my brand is doing. It almost acts as a blog. They usually ask me about buying my products or featuring me in a magazine on Facebook first and then via email.
What is your take on personal business failures?
I do not think failure is a bad thing. As a result you have learnt one way not do something. If you want to be successful you need persevere through life’s hurdles. At one point Donald Trump was a failure. “If we never get lost, how would we find a new route”?
What is difference that is making the difference for success in business at the moment?
I think businesses that offer a personal touch and provide a bespoke service are doing well at the moment. People buy into companies that seem like they are run by real people that care about their customers needs.
Who are you following on Twitter and why?
I follow people in my industry. I like to know what is going on in Fashion. I also follow some celebrities that I would like to dress on the red carpet. I send them messages and contact their stylists.
What book would you recommend for entrepreneurs? The 4 hour work week
What is your favourite quote and how are you applying this in your business?
“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.” Les Brown. I am implementing this into my business by not procrastinating. If I have a goal to achieve and I have no idea how to do it, I will go for it anyway.
What next for your business?
I am launching a new ecommerce website very soon. I am also planning to go to New York with my new collection for Autumn/Winter 2013. I have also launched my first menswear pieces that are made to order.
For further information visit: www.chantellwalters.co.uk