Libby Chilton

MA Fashion, Enterprise and Society

I’ve always been interested in the fashion industry. After graduating I lived and worked in Paris, then I set up my own accessories business in London before I moved north to Leeds. I felt I’d lost a bit of direction and was keen to study a Masters and develop my business mindset and get back into an industry that interested me. The MA Fashion, Enterprise and Society course was the perfect combination. 

Before the course started, I had set up an online vintage store with a friend, so the enterprise element really appealed to me. I knew everything that I learnt could be applied to developing my brand. When I started this course I heard about loads of great opportunities, one of which was SPARK, the University’s business start-up service. 

I applied to the SPARK Enterprise Scholarship Programme and, with Chloe my business partner, was lucky enough to be successful and we received £3,000. We went on a two-day SPARK boot camp, which was intense but really useful. We met entrepreneurs across all industries. We got to pitch our ideas, talk about what we are doing, analyse it, break it apart, and learn to write a business plan. The financial support helped us buy new stock, get our logo redesigned and think about what’s important for the business and how to grow it.

I have to say, balancing Masters study and growing a business is challenging at times, but the resources and support available from the University make it achievable. I spend a lot of time in the Edward Boyle library. They have a floor dedicated just to postgraduate study, so it’s a good place to have meetings and do research. 

After I graduate I want to continue to grow my business. I have also been looking into research jobs and the possibility of continuing my studies at PhD level.