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Ed Sheeran’s glasses designer to share tips with city start-ups

GBSLEP Growth Hub News
Thursday 28th September


 Ed Sheeran’s glasses designer to share tips with city start-ups


Tom Davies, the designer of iconic eyewear worn by Heston Blumenthal and Ed Sheeran, is set to share his early experience of starting a fashion brand with city start-ups next week/October 4.


Tom, who built his eponymous company in the mid 2000s, says he was motivated to speak because as a young man starting out, he would have benefited massively from the experience.


He said: "I'm attending next week to share my experiences over the past 15 years. I'm doing this because I would have benefited from someone like me doing this 15 years ago.

"When I was starting out, I went to any event like this that I could. I networked (I still work with people I met at this stage of my growth) and I learnt.

"I've seen some of the other speakers and I would not want to miss the opportunity to grab as much information as possible.”

The day-long session at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery is designed to help young start-ups turn style into profit and is part of the Exchange series of events run by small business support group Enterprise Nation , which help to join big businesses up with small for trade.


It will also see ambitious fashionistas pick up chachet as they live pitch their designs to top buyers at Selfridges in front of a city audience.


The event will also hear from Rosie Wolfenden, one half of quirky ‘wearable art’  brand and British institution Tatty Devine and Oliver Bonas buyer and Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate Rebecca Jones will offer insight into what the high street brand is looking for when it comes to fashion and jewellery suppliers.


They will be joined by Henry Deakin, one half of Deakin & Francis, the city firm his family started in 1786 In the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Andrew Riley, editor of Style Birmingham is set to join a press panel to offer advice around how new brands can get their designs featured in the media. 


There will also be a chance to hear the start-up journeys of local fashion and jewellery brands including award-winning James Newman Jewellery and Hockley-based Crescent Silver.


Enterprise Nation’s Birmingham champ and event organiser Debbie Assinder said: "Tom Davies is a real coup for us and he’s coming to do it for all the right reasons – he wants to pass on his knowledge, not gain exposure for his brand.


"While it’s not all about knowing the right people or being in the right place at the right time, the Fashion and Jewellery Exchange is a great opportunity to make the kind of contacts young brands need to take them to the next level – as well as hearing inspirational success stories and picking up the tips and skills needed to kick-start and run a successful retail business.”


A panel of top fashion PR experts will take questions from the floor on how to present a new brand and get noticed by the press.

   The day starts at 10am and will be hosted by Emma Jones, MBE. 


Those interested in live pitching to Selfridges can apply at

   Find out more and book tickets here




For more details contact Liz Slee 

07540 060112


About Enterprise Nation


Enterprise Nation is a growing small business network and business support provider with more than 70,000 members. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses – through expert advice, events, acceleration and networking. Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by Emma Jones MBE , also co-founder of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author of best-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, Start a Business for £99 and the StartUp Kit, Going for Growth.  In 2016 she was announced as the Government’s Trade Ambassador and SME Crown Representative.



The event is to be held at:



Notes to editors:



Full programme

9.30am Registration

10am: Welcome from Emma Jones, Enterprise Nation

10.10am: Launching & Growing a Brand that Zigs In a World that Zags: Selling via an online marketplace Young British Designers

10.40am: How I did it: Tatty Devine  Rosie Wolfenden, co-founder and managing director of Tatty Devine, shares her story of how she built her high profile jewellery business. 

11am: Show me the money!

Hear how to raise funds and manage money for your fashion and jewellery business · Alison Lewy, Fashion Angel · Rebecca Picton, HSBC · Silvia Gaplovska, Startup Direct

11.30am: Coffee

12pm: Experiences of a Jewellery buyer: Oliver Bonas

Rebecca Jones, former Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate and buyer at Oliver Bonas

12.30pm: Jewels in the crown A panel of successful entrepreneurs based in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter explain how they got started and accessed support to keep growing. · Henry Deakin, Deakin & Francis, England's oldest family jeweller that has kept up with jewellery trends since 1786!  · Neil Grant, Crescent Silver. Neil is a master craftsman and silversmith and has many high profile clients including the Royal Family and Highgrove · James Newman, the award winning creative director at James Newman Jewellery and Birmingham School of Jewellery graduate

1pm: Meet the buyer: Selfridges  Helen Attwood, head buyer for shoes & accessories and Hazel North, head of women merchandising, Selfridges 

Enterprise Nation members attending the event have the exclusive opportunity to apply to give a three minute pitch to Selfridges live on stage at the Fashion & Jewellery Exchange in Birmingham. Apply here by 12pm on Wednesday 27 September.

Not a member? Buy the 'plus Enterprise Nation membership' ticket and get the opportunity to pitch plus lots of other amazing business benefits for a whole year.  1.30pm: Lunch

2.30pm: Grow your business on Facebook and Instagram Accredited Facebook trainer, David Glenwright, offers strategies to make the most of Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers, as part of the national #SheMeansBusinesscampaign.

3.00pm: Watch this space 

3.30pm: How to get noticed  Experts share tips on how to secure press coverage for your business · Anna Chapman, jewellery PR specialist, Facets PR · Andrew Riley, director, RileyRaven and owner, Style Birmingham · Nathalie Griffiths, agency partner, RBH Creative Communications · Susie Matthews, editor, Quarter Life, the official magazine for the Jewellery Quarter

4pm: Ends

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