GEMMA WARD, EDITOR, BOUTIQUE MAGAZINE
A fashion journalist with over 15 years’ experience, Gemma Ward is the founding editor of Boutique magazine. The title launched in 2010 as a niche publication dedicated to the needs of independent fashion retailers. Today it is celebrated for its insightful business articles and inspiring content created for small business owners. Gemma has judged a wide range of fashion and beauty industry awards throughout her career and regularly interviews some of the best fashion indies and brands in the business.
DERYANE TADD, OWNER, THE DRESSING ROOM
Former buyer and retail expert Deryane is the founder of award-winning St Alban’s boutique and e-commerce site The Dressing Room. Soon after beginning her retail career she rapidly progressed to store and then area manager for multiples including LK Bennett. Deryane then spent seven years running the buying and operations for French Connection franchises, before opening The Dressing Room in 2005.
ANDREW GOODACRE, CEO, BIRA
Appointed at Bira’s CEO in 2018, Andrew has a wealth of experience in the small business membership sector having held the roles of CEO at RLA since 2013 and a senior position at the Federation of Small Businesses. He has rich experience in many key areas that affect SMEs including lobbying government for changes in legislation while he is dedicated to helping independent retailers thrive.
SAM BURGESS, FOUNDER, SMALL AND MIGHTY
Sam is the founder of Small and Mighty Co. (previously known as Social Mouth) and a leading expert in content marketing, independent retail and modern-day consumer behaviour. With a career spanning over 15 years, she has worked with brands including Swarovski and Arcadia. In addition to consulting, Sam is the host of an iTunes top 40 business podcast Small and Mighty Conversations, celebrating small business owners.
LEE LUCAS, PRINCIPAL, FASHION RETAIL ACADEMY
Having joined London’s Fashion Retail Academy as Principle and CEO in 2014, Lee has a diverse career background as an IT manager and teacher. Over the past 14 years he has held senior leadership roles and Principal positions in private and public education providers, developing qualifications and apprenticeships in the IT, beauty, jewellery and retail sectors, alongside a number of other commercial ventures.