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Feilding to Fashion Week: Tonic & Cloth

Feilding-based fashion designer Jodie Woods operates a sustainable clothing start up, Tonic & Cloth, and was prepared to grow her business over five years.

"I planned to coast along slowly, grow the business and get to a point where I'd be selling more and have larger production runs."

But that plan rapidly changed. The catalyst? Woods received a reply to an email she had sent to Good Magazine's editor Carolyn Enting about her collection. The editor loved what she saw in Woods' work and asked if she could show Tonic & Cloth's summer collection at NZ Fashion Week in September 2018, as part of the publication's Sustainable Style Show.

In need of some serious business advice, Woods called CEDA Business Growth Advisor Brian Sami the next day. She had received a Startup pack from CEDA a year earlier and knew of the support and guidance that could be provided.

"Brian helped me to see a much bigger picture. With his business experience, he guided me through the next steps I needed to take to make the most of this opportunity and scale-up my business."

In response to Brian's advice, Woods met with a lawyer to better understand investment offers and opportunities. She has also created more structure in her business, as well as picturing where she envisions Tonic & Cloth in five years' time, including the business's governance, heart and ethos.

"He could see what I couldn't right now and was asking me questions I hadn't thought to ask."

In preparation for NZ Fashion Week, Woods grew her production runs and collaborations with local designers. She's no longer daunted by the fact that her five-year business plan is here, now.

"I feel like I've got more than a tool box after meeting with Brian. It was like he was standing on top of a mountain and could see the playing field more clearly than I could. I feel empowered to know what to research and do next."

“Being a Business Growth Advisor is so rewarding,” said Brian. CEDA is gaining more profile and awareness with new and existing businesses about the exciting and new ideas and ways of thinking we can bring to them.

Interested in finding out how CEDA can support you? Get in touch.


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This was published in the Success Stories newsletter on October 24, 2018. Sign up here to receive our newsletters directly

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