Here's a brief insight into how The Fashion Student Hub ™ was conceived, as well as our vision for both fashion experts and fashion students.
We hope this helps you feel connected to us and inspires you to join us on our journey, or to contact us and find out more about how you or your organisation can become involved.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it." - Simon Sinek
We see a future where talented individuals with expertise in the field of fashion, are sharing that expertise to a global audience of fashion students eager to learn and develop their skills and knowledge.
We see a future where these students will turn to the device of their choice and learn from a portfolio of courses and micro-learning units offered by a bank of professional fashion experts that will unlock each student's full potential.
We see a future where fashion subject experts have learned how to take what they learned in industry, then develop educational resources and then market them online profitably, reaching an audience without boundaries and without restrictions of time or place.
Our vision is to help fashion subject experts connect their expertise with these new audiences and change the shape of fashion education.
The Fashion Student Hub™ and our sister platform, We Teach Fashion™, is the brainchild of Mark and Cheryl Gregory, entrepreneurs at heart with a passion for helping others grow.
After leaving school Cheryl went to the Cheltenham College of Art & Design and received a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Design and History of Art.
During her final year of studies she was sponsored by Mulberry for her degree collection and after finishing her course joined Roger Saul at Mulberry as their first employed designer. Eventually the time came for Cheryl to spread her wings and enter the world of freelance design, followed by a career break whilst she raised her four children.
When she returned to work and has since taught fashion at two of the UK's top independent schools and has run her own training and retail consulting firm for the past 8 years.
Meanwhile Mark began with, a multinational manufacturing corporation, active across many sectors including fibres and dyes, where he worked in the International Training Group helping the company find innovative training solutions for its stakeholders worldwide.
In 1990 he joined BMW launching and managing new business innovations designed to secure new revenue streams and increase customer loyalty for the company and its dealership network.
He then worked for an international automotive consulting firm before he launched his own consulting business in 1998 helping clients develop employee potential through designing and delivering personal and professional development programmes across varied industries.
In 2001 Mark and Cheryl developed the world's first online learning portal that was web based and open to anyone in the automotive industry.
This was a natural step because of Mark's background in the automotive business, providing an innovation developed and launched before the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo etc. And even YouTube had only just been launched and as for mobile phones, well they were just that, phones!
They had the vision to use the features that technology allowed at the time to develop a learning portal that connected subject experts with learners.
It was a success and they proved 15 years ago that learners wanted access to resources to develop their knowledge and skills outside of traditional classroom and face to face training. They wanted ease of access to topics that could help them just in time, as they needed it.
Then in 2009 Cheryl and Mark came together to form a new consultancy business, The Customer's Shoes Ltd which is dedicated to providing adult education in the retail environment helping employees at all levels to develop their full potential.
And now We Teach Fashion ™ and The Fashion Student Hub fall under the umbrella of their company.
Cheryl has a deep interest in fashion, and in their business activities training and development has been a key offering for Mark and Cheryl.
They have a track record in setting up and running educational resources so it made sense to harness their expertise and create synergy around a resource they saw lacking in the fashion sector.
All of their four children have embraced technology and used it to their full advantage. Their youngest daughter Tolmeia turned 16 in May 2016 but at the age of 12 she announced that she wanted to be a fashion designer.
She proudly said she wanted to have her own blog to share her designs and write about fashion topics. Bless her, she was only 12 but she had this drive and eagerness to be a fashion designer which was and still is truly inspiring for her parents.
But what began as a hobby and distraction from school work quickly turned into an inspiring part of her life that has opened amazing opportunities for her.
These have included working with a brand to design her own collection of socks (see them here), appearing on BBC Radio, being featured in the Telegraph ( a leading UK newspaper), appearing at blogging events, as well as a US documentary called 16 in 16, about what it's like to be 16 in 2016. She's also appeared in live webcasts to US schools and written widely on teen fashion. And in 2015 she was in a list of teen bloggers that i-D Magazine thought could steal Tavi Gevinson’s crown! You can learn more about Tolemia and her work at tollydollyposhfashion.com
So you can see why Mark and Cheryl have been inspired to develop opportunities for Tolly to learn about fashion and to prepare her as much as they can before she gets to University or takes her first job.
Image courtesy of Tolly
Every idea is inspired.
Whilst watching Tolly grow over the past four years what dawned upon us was the lack of easily accessible educational material online that she could follow that would prepare her for a career in fashion. Yes there are many books as well as thousands of random YouTube videos, as well as traditional classroom courses being advertised. But nothing offered as a complete portfolio with structure differentiated by topic, levels or age group.
There are independent sites offering some courses on topics like fashion drawing or sewing, but no comprehensive libraries with quality content, engaging user experiences and the latest in technology allowing students to follow courses where they want, using what device they want.
So began the process of researching further the whole education portfolio for employees in the fashion industry. What does exist is often difficult to access, is very expensive for individuals to purchase and doesn't always allow for 24/7 access on any device (phone, tablet, PC etc).
Just like the automotive setor we'd investigated and developed a solution for in 2001, we believe there's a need for a comprehensive portfolio of fashion subject courses not to replace the traditional route to fashion but to enable a quicker, more user friendly and accessible compliment.
And when we use the term students we are not just refering to those in education, but to anyone in the fashion sector that needs to learn, regardless of age or whether or not they are employed or still in education .
So Tolmeia became our guinea pig, our student avatar that we designed our first courses for and that triggered the development of our platform for students thefashionstudenthub.com
We're growing our portfolio of courses and seeking talented fashion subject experts that see the potential for sharing their expertise and changing the shape of fashion education.
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