My Mentors…CEO Jenny Holloway

Everyone needs a mentor or two, someone they respect and admire for their positive decision-making and ability to incite assured change for the good of their industry. This week our very own CEO Jenny Holloway reveals her top two mentors and why they inspire her…

“My first inspirational mentor is actually Nick Beighton, the current CEO. The phenomenal growth of Fashion Enter has really been down to his support and belief in what we are doing. He has also been incredibly insightful for the industry as a whole. Fully endorsing the investment for The Factory Nick realised that without investment in technical skills there was no future for a UK Factory especially when the Brexit vote in June 2016 occurred.

“Nick granted the initial £70k to enable us to open the Stitching Academy in September 2013. At this time we had to write the qualifications for a Level 1 and 2 with ABC Awards, as they just did not exist. That was certainly challenging!

“The Stitching Academy was an immediate success and ABC Awards confirmed that the Stitching Award and certificate is their most popular qualification – a good sign for UK manufacturing.

“It was also down to Nick that supported our bid for the Fashion Technology Academy (FTA) with Haringey Council and provided match funding by way of a soft loan. Without ASOS we could not have opened the FTA. Now we are offering qualifications from Level 1 – 5 and we are about to open the Tailoring Academy too – there is no way I can go back to ASOS here! They have already been so generous so we are looking into ways of making the Tailoring Academy work with a range of partners.

“ASOS have proven that supplier relationships can work when both sides work as one. Nick Beighton has become a friend a mentor and he will always, always have my personal loyalty and gratitude. He is definitely one of the good guys!”

(Images: Jenny with Nick Beighton at the FTA top and Chris North below)

“The other mentor in my life is Chris North is a Principal at Permira, specialists in investment and growth.

“Chris has provided the most amazing support for me personally and I thank my lucky stars that when Fashion Enter won the Social Business Trust Award Chris was appointed as my one-to-one mentor.

“I have never known anyone to be so pragmatic, so wise and have such empathy for a company and me as a person. He cuts to the heart of a matter…be it financial, governance or policy making. The guidance on growth has been totally spot on and at times for Chris to say: “Well Jenny, if you do that you won’t be seeing me again!” He is honest, assured and really understands business.”