Small Business Saturday Blog

In conversation with Ollie Proudlock

Tuesday, October 13 at 10:37

On Thursday October 8th, Small Business Saturday welcomed Ollie Proudlock, creator of brand Serge DeNimes, for a coffee and chat with some fashion-focused small businesses: Jewellery Box, House of Ollichon, Chocolate Buddha and Tammam. Ollie started his small business in 2011, drawing from his passion for art and design to become a worldwide brand.


Ollie shared how his upbringing influenced his career path, from growing up in a very creative household "meant that everything my mum did was all about style. Our house for instance was covered in denim”, part of the reason he named the brand Serge DeNimes. Starting out, he said, required taking a leap of faith. He applauded the businesses in the room for taking the first step and getting started, "you wouldn't want to go through life thinking 'what if?'"

Serge DeNimes began with printing images onto t-shirts and building a narrative from these photographs, the first collection celebrating Brazil's Carnival. Like many small business owners, he recalled early mornings and late nights processing orders and the challenge in finding the right suppliers to make his product.



Hannah Ollichon, founder of bridal brand House of Ollichon asked Ollie about ‘telling a story’ though social media and blog content: creating content that people can connect to can really help sell a product, "I want to know what I’m wearing, I want to know where it’s come from, and I want to become a part of that brand". Ollie shared his love for collaboration with other brands, designers and creatives - which can open your brand to new customers.

In five years’ time, Ollie said he would like to grow the brand in America and Asia and increase the number of stores that sell his brand in the UK, in addition to the 29 where it is currently stocked. He would love to have a stand-alone store in the UK with a larger team to help the business grow.
Small Business Saturday would like to say a big thank you to Ollie Proudlock for sharing his small business journey and giving great tips and advice, and to all of the small businesses who joined us at the event.

With thanks to Taylor Hepworth for covering this event

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