Next Wellington speaker

Hazel Bradshaw

More info

April 27, 8:00am • Biz Dojo • part of a series on Game

Incase you missed our chat with Clare Bowden from Mandatory last month on #cmsurvival it’s now here for your viewing and inspiration!

Introducing our June speaker, Clare Bowden from Mandatory Menswear. This month, Mandatory are celebrating their 20th birthday, so Clare knows a thing or two about what it takes to survive in a tough industry.

Join next Friday 28th of July, tickets go live tomorrow @ 10am!

First I was afraid, I was petrified…. Or so goes the famous Gloria Gaynor song about survival. It is a sentiment that will feel familiar to anyone started in business whose planned vocation was and still is “design”. Designer Clare Bowden was youthfully unafraid and naïve to the toil and commitment of retailing her own wares when she co-founded the menswear store and label Mandatory in 1997.

Celebrating 20 years in business this month, Clare knows a thing or two about what it takes to survive in a tough industry. Clare is co-founder and designer of Mandatory and the Director of the whole operation. She started out managing the manufacturing of the duo’s designs and moved to the shop floor out of necessity during the GFC, often coordinating manufacturing at night to keep the ship upright. Good things came of the change.

These days she buys cloth, co-designs the range, and coordinates the manufacturing schedule while working alongside the managers of both sites. She is responsible for some of the longest selling designs in the store. She handles the trickiest of suiting, casual fittings, and draft patterns. Clare also consults on wardrobes for busy men. She keeps regular weekly shifts on the shop floor and works hard to be the great boss she is constantly praised as being.

Our video is back from Flying Saucer for the wonderful chat from Shut Up and Dance last week, take a listen as to why we all need to embrace serendipity in our daily lives!

News time! 📢 Welcoming Samme Prangley to the Co Host Seat 🎉 Social media marketer, gin lover and explorer of new cities, Samme is joining Chapter Host Alise to help grow our mornings! Say hi next week as we welcome her into the Welly creative community 💕 Pics as always by the lovely @lizziesnowphotography 📷 See you all so very soon, Alise and Samme 🙋🏼🙋🏼

Calling all morning people! 👋🏼 Would like to be involved in #cmwlg as a volunteer? Even if you can’t commit to every month, but want to help hang the bunting or sample the coffee when you can, we want to hear from you. Sounds like fun? 👍🏼 Email us at