Case Study: Taisir Gibreel

“You have to get out there”

Taisir Gibreel - Founder of Taisir Gibreel

My Business Made Itself

I’d had nearly 10 years retail experience working for the fashion company Oilily when I decided to study textile design. My work is inspired by Scottish landscapes and my childhood in Sudan. A couple of retailers and a gallery owner approached me at my degree show, suggesting I turn my prints into scarves. I’d always wanted to start my own business. I now also design handkerchiefs and ties, and want to grow into fashion and homeware.

You Have to Make the Contact

There has been a lot of trial and error finding the best producers in the UK – not just for the products, but for the washing instructions and the boxes they go in. If you expect people to pay a premium price for your product then it has to have a top quality finish. I currently have 19 stockists, mostly independent retailers, and I’ve got those by picking up the phone and showing them my work. You have to make the contact because no one is going to come to you.

The Bank is Behind Me

My boyfriend and mother have been very supportive and gave me £16,000 to start the business. The Bank has also helped. Anne Green, my Relationship Manager, has been fantastic and agreed to a £2,000 loan I needed for my boxes and branding. She’s also always at the end of the phone, ready to give guidance. I really feel as if the Bank is behind me.

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