A view from the top: Mayamiko, MadeBy_ and The Mayamiko Trust

We chatted to Paola Masperi about her journey from first ever job, to creating three amazing brands in the ethical fashion space.

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What was it like finding your first job?

I moved to the UK from Italy when I was 19, and I my English wasn’t great. I literally went door to door asking offices and shops if they needed help - I remember being so overjoyed when my very first manager, Ian, took a chance on me. I’d like to think he didn’t regret it, but the truth is that I had a lot to learn and him being patient and taking time with me made a world of difference. 

Hopefully I can return the favour to a young person now.

What are you most proud of achieving so far amongst your three amazing brands?

Our success is the success of our teams and customers. 

Every time a happy customer writes a lovely email to us, or posts a gorgeous picture, or everytime one of our makers is successful in business or achieves a life objective -that makes it all worthwhile!

Why is it important for you to hire young people into your business? 

As a business, it is really important to always challenge ourselves and keep our thinking fresh. Experience is definitely valuable and comes with time, and we need to find a good balance with innovation and new ideas. 

Who better than young people can help us do that! 

Where do you see your brands expanding over the next few years?

We have exciting plans to move towards fashion technology - being able to offer exciting services to other brands and connect them with the right shoppers, while doing our bit for people and planet. 

This gets me really excited. 

Creatively, we have built a niche, yet well known fashion brand, which we want to grow and expand,so the right creative and marketing strategy will be key. We have an opportunity as we reset after the pandemic to challenge ourselves and take anew direction both in terms of product design and business model, so it’s a great time to join 

How can someone impress you in a job interview, do they need to have a degree?

I wouldn’t say so. 

I love to see examples of what someone has achieved, be it at school, on a passion project, or a volunteering initiative -it gives me a good feel for what that person is like beyond academic qualifications, what pushes their button, what they care about and how they think: it shows initiative and creativity and this is what we need more than anything.