Lazy Oaf get proactive on training

Fashion and Textiles

Lazy Oaf's bold and bright designsLazy Oaf is an independent London label that specialises in designing bold, graphic prints and iconic cartoon illustrations applied to a range of directional women’s and men’s clothing and accessories.

Founded by head designer Gemma Shiel in 2001, the company started off by selling hand-screen printed T-shirts in London’s Spitalfields market. Nearly fifteen years on, Lazy Oaf now design multi-garment, seasonal collections, run a busy website and have a flagship store in London. Its designs are also available in over 250 independent boutiques, department stores and fashion websites worldwide. 

Growth brings challenges

Lazy Oaf's T-shirtsThe label’s growth was fairly steady in the first decade, it has however picked up considerably in the past five years with a rapid increase in the collection sizes, staffing, web traffic and engagement on social media.

The brand was faced with the challenge of maintaining its growth and implementing its strategy across all departments, while remaining true to its core values and unique selling points. With this in mind, Lazy Oaf felt that it would be beneficial for the heads of departments to attend Creative Skillset and UKFT’s Commercial Fashion Masterclasses.

New grounds

Lazy Oaf’s staff almost tripled in size between 2012-2014, and this saw many heads of departments taking on managerial responsibilities for the first time. The Leadership and People Management Masterclass was specifically chosen to give managers the skills they need to develop and get the best out of their teams.

Lazy Oaf's Press and Marketing Manager, Jerry O'Sullivan, also attended The Strategic Marketing Masterclass which was extremely instrumental in helping them discover new ways of implementing more strategy and allow for a more proactive, forward-planning approach. 

Training is a really valuable tool for our staff as it gives us the opportunity to see things in the bigger picture. As we are all really busy working on day-to-day projects it can be difficult to find time to re-evaluate and analyse how both we as individuals, and our departments are functioning and what areas we can improve on.

As a small business, Lazy Oaf felt that attending these masterclasses added value to the way they run as a business, and they benefited hugely from the insight received from industry leaders with years of experience within their fields.

The expertise and knowledge acquired from the masterclasses helped staff gain confidence within their roles, and also saw them form valuable networks with other like-minded professionals from the Creative Industries.

The proof is in the pudding

Selection of Lazy Oaf's collectionLazy Oaf were able to implement what they learnt on the Leadership and Management Masterclass once back in the office. They completely restructured their annual review process, and put extra emphasis on how management delivered feedback to junior staff, focusing on the positive outcome of all feedback given. 

The masterclass also allowed them to put more focus on motivating junior staff, which has greatly impacted the way they lead projects, run meetings and communicate information internally. The course also introduced them to the benefits of getting staff to carry out the MBTI inspired personality test. Learning about the different personalities within departments helped them to better understand their team's needs, delegate appropriately and manage expectations. 

Focusing on the customer needs

The Strategic Marketing Masterclass enabled Lazy Oaf to make changes to their Spring-Summer 16 marketing plan. As they look to re-strategise on menswear, the masterclass’ focus on menswear was particularly beneficial, giving them invaluable insight into men's consumer habits.

The masterclass gave eye-opening advice on the importance of customer analysis, which Jerry will be using to create customer profiles, allowing them to get a clearer understanding of who their customers are and how they can meet their demands. 

As the business continues to grow and more people join the team, we will definitely continue to attend more courses, as we think the expertise and skills gained from the courses help to motivate staff, improve internal structure and add an extra level of professionalism to the office environment.

Looking for training like this?

Creative Skillset and UKFT have developed a series of specialist masterclasses designed for those working within the fashion industry. Click here to book your place on a masterclass that suits you.


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