Eureka moment        

After 20 years of working as a designer and buyer, flying around the world for brands like Burberry and M&S, I became disillusioned when they stopped using factories in the UK to produce their goods.  I left the jet-setting world in 2011 to set up Make it British.  I wanted to campaign to support UK manufacturing businesses and British craftsmanship.  The interest that it's attracted has been phenomenal and I've brought together thousands of businesses, designers and buyers with UK manufacturers.


Make it British began as a blog written at my kitchen table, so the initial outlay was very low.  I went on to invest my life savings to launch a conference and trade show called Meet the Manufacturer, but I'd never run an event before.  The potential risk was heightened when I was let down by a potential business partner at the last minute - I had a choice to either pull the plug on the idea or gather the right team around me to get it off the ground, and quick.  Fortunately I chose the latter and haven't looked back.


My only regret is that I didn't leave corporate life sooner.

What would you have changed?

When I first set out on my own, it was to launch a website to encourage more people to buy more British-made products.  I had no intention of setting up forums, conferences or trade shows, but the campaign has grown far beyond my initial vision and I've had to adapt and acquire new skills along the way.  It's been a steep learning curve, but I wouldn't have changed a thing!