Case study: Taiwo Sonekan

Mariam Sonekan is a womenswear and textiles designer, specialising in uniquely designed and high-quality handmade pieces. After studying Fashion Textiles at London College of Fashion, Mariam was working freelance, making bespoke pieces to order for individual clients. But a trip to New York for an internship inspired this creative young designer to start her own company, and she founded Taiwo Sonekan in 2015.

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Case study: Taiwo Sonekan

We found Mariam the funding she needed to boost her new fashion business

Mariam Sonekan is a womenswear and textiles designer, specialising in uniquely designed and high-quality handmade pieces.

After studying Fashion Textiles at London College of Fashion, Mariam was working freelance, making bespoke pieces to order for individual clients. But a trip to New York for an internship inspired this creative young designer to start her own company, and she founded Taiwo Sonekan in 2015.

Scaling up

Soon after deciding to set up on her own, Mariam was approached by an online designer marketplace that wanted to sell her clothes. For the first time, she was planning to produce multiple orders rather than one-off commissioned pieces, and worried about how she could pay suppliers for the stock weeks or months before being paid herself for the completed order.

Mariam visited the Funding Options site one evening, and got a call from a Business Finance Specialist the next morning (her birthday!) to discuss her business plans. Her situation was potentially tricky, because the brand-new business didn’t have a long enough trading history for many lenders. Luckily, we were able to quickly negotiate with a lender to get Mariam a loan based on her strong personal credit history.

Five days after the night she contacted us, the money was in Mariam’s account — so she could move her exciting fashion business forward with a new relationship.

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