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Episode Info: Amanda: Hello. This is Amanda Alexander. You are very welcome to another episode of the Inspiring Women Interviews. Today I am interviewing Jenny Holloway. Jenny is the CEO of Fashion Enter. Fashion Enter is a manufacturing source of excellence and training academy to support particularly unemployed women who’ve had a curve ball thrown at them in their lives and who want a future. I’ll be asking Jenny particularly about this work that she does as a social enterprise within Fashion Enter. I met Jenny at the Forward Ladies Women in Business Award Finals. Jenny had won the regional award for social enterprise of the year. She then went on to win the overall award at Forward Ladies for social enterprise category. Jenny and I got on like a house on fire and I was absolutely fascinated by her story. She started off as a senior buyer at Arcadia Group. She was a selector at M&S. She was assistant buyer at Littlewoods. For 25 years she worked in industry and had got to very senior positions within fashion. She then gave it all up and she’s going to be telling us the story of how she gave it all up, what happened, and business and the social enterprise that she has grown since. Welcome, Jenny, and thank you very much for being here today. Jenny: It’s a pleasure. Thank you very much for having me. Amanda: Let’s go back to what I just mentioned, that moment when you realised that you weren’t going to work for Marks and Spencer’s anymore. Jenny: The last job was actually Arcadia and I was a senior buyer and I loved that job. It was a very exciting job. At that time in my life, I was about 28 to about 31 and I was travelling the world, I was going to Milan and New York, and it’s a great life when you’re single and you’re just expanding your horizons with your career. It is also very stressful job. You used to have that pit in your stomach on a Sunday because you knew the Monday morning figures were going to be coming through and you’re thinking, “I hope I’ve had a good week.” There’s this saying in buying, “You’re only as good as your last week’s sales.” In part it’s true. It’s all about figures and performing. I think as you get older you sort of start questioning the validity of targets and money and it’s just a lot of pressure. I think I came to a pinch point when I was working with a certain director and I was sort of advised to be buying a jodhpur. I was saying, “Well actually, the jodhpurs don’t work as effective as the trial I’ve had and we’ve just done the ski pants and I’ve made a ski pants really up to the minute. You can take this detachable stirrups off. They’re saying, “No. No. No. Listen to me. I want us to buy this.” Anyway, I bought it. Then three months later, it was very much, “Well why did you buy that, Jennifer? Why did you not fight for your stirrup more?” I thought, you know what? Life is a little bit too short and a little bit too precious to worry about the difference b...
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