Congratulations George Hodgson of Maison de Choup for winning the FASHIONbasecamp British Fashion Startup Award 2016

Ever since he launched his brand in 2014, business has been growing steadily for George Hodgson. I was so happy to catch up with George about his FASHIONbasecamp journey and where he see's his brand in 5 years. 

How does it feel to have finished the journey with FASHIONbasecamp as a winner?

"Really shocked! The competition was so stiff, there were so many great businesses that I was up against. I was relieved and excited to hear that I had won, I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. Winning the British Fashion Startup Award will be a stepping-stone for our brand to move forward."

What inspired you to create your brand - Maison de Choup?

"Basically in 2014 I suffered from anxiety I couldn’t leave my bedroom, I found it hard to finish my education or get a job – because of this I found that I had a lot of free time on my hands. So, one day I decided to go to my father’s office and print some anxiety designs on a t-shirt. After a few attempts and the motivation to create something great, the brand was born. 

I also wanted to create a brand that conveys a message, so through ‘words fail me’ t-shirt line, it supports the work done by the YoungMinds charity. So a percentage of sales for this product goes to the charity."

What difficulties did you have to overcome designing such a unique collection?

"Quite a few difficulties, to start off with we wanted our t-shirts to be organic cotton so hunting down the perfect one was a challenge. At the end of the day all the difficulties I went through got me to where I am now. It’s all about trial and error, and through any difficulty the key is to never give up."

As you’ve worked with FASHIONbasecamp - what support did you receive from them to help you with your business?

"Throughout the competition FASHIONbasecamp were supportive and encouraging during the process. As I’m the winner of the competition I’ll be getting a public relations package to promote my achievement and six monthly mentoring sessions from a senior FASHIONbasecamp mentor to support Maison de Choup journey and help me learn the ropes in business. This is great as it’ll help me grow my brand in the direction I want it to go, with professional guidance by my side to support the process."

Do you have any upcoming plans that you can tell us about?

"Yes, excitingly I can announce that in 2017 we're hoping to grow our anxiety rage ‘words fail me’ by as creating different t-shirts designs and tote bags. As well as our anxiety range we're are also looking to expand the fashion side of Maison de Choup for the fashion savvy. As you know we've expanded our range into purses, bags and denim shirts so maybe rucksacks will be on our list... so watch this space. Our aim is for Maison de Choup to cater for everyone’s taste, so by expanding both ranges in different directions will reach a larger audience."

Where do you see your brand in 5 years from now? 

"We’ve recently had our purses and tote bags in out First independent retailer, which is amazing to see already. I want to continue to expand the brand to more designs and products both within the anxiety range and the Masion de Choup fashion range

As well as expanding the brand, I want to help school/colleges and individuals to raise awareness about mental health and to make it normal to speak out.

The dream for the brand is to one day own my own store. Its high hopes but anything is possible, so it’ll be really exciting to have this dream achieved one day."

Thank you George for taking the time to talk to me. It was great leaning more about your brand! 

Hope everyones had a fabulous Christmas & New Years!! 

Love, The Girl In The City xoxo