Those of you who love our Brand Stories features will already be aware of Maggie Mowbray Millinery, but Maggie Mowbray Photography? Yes, this lady is not only one of Scotland’s most talented headwear designers, she’s also the creative eye behind her own brand’s product photography and campaign work. Not an easy task by any stretch, to be able to produce images that capture her work so beautifully takes real skills and we’re thrilled to be able to bring you an exclusive interview with Maggie herself, focused (photography pun - sorry!) on exactly what it takes to be leading in your field for more than one skill.
WHAT WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND YOU STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Actually this is my second business, my photography business has grown as a direct result of my first. When I began my design business online over 5 years ago, I knew the most important element of selling online was great visuals. I learned to use an SLR back when I was only 16 and have taken photos continually over the years. However, when I began my design business, I didn’t feel confident I could produce the required imagery and in the early days I worked with other photographers, one of whom was excellent and from observing, taught me a lot. Then around five years ago, I decided to start taking my own photos for my collections and it turned out to be one of the favourite elements of my job!
HAVE YOU STAYED TRUE TO YOUR ORIGINAL ETHOS OR HAS YOUR BRAND EVOLVED CONSIDERABLY?
Over the years, I’ve learned to reign in my creative ideas with shoots for my design website, I have learned images that sell goods are best kept simple. It was the need to be more creative with my photography which has led to me launching my photography business. I have also started exploring dance photography, this is an area where I feel I can take in a very creative direction.
IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR CREATIVE STYLE IN A SENTENCE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
Originally fine art trained, I approach each image as I would a piece of art work, the composition, light & mood are central to the images I create!
DO YOU FIND THAT YOU HAVE A KEY CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC?
Currently I am developing my work for clients and have work lined up with independent designers and those within the creative and fashion industry.
WHERE IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN BASE; CLOSE TO HOME OR DOES YOUR BRAND SPEAK TO AN OVERSEAS CUSTOMER MORE THAN THOSE ON YOUR DOORSTEP?
My photography is definitely closer to home, currently working with Scottish designers.
IS THERE A CELEBRITY THAT YOU’D LOVE TO DESIGN FOR OR A NOTABLE NAME YOU FEEL ENCAPSULATES YOUR BRAND?
There are a few dancers I'd like to photograph, I'll not name them, but keep an eye on my Instagram for when that arises!
DO YOU HAVE A STANDOUT CUSTOMER STORY?
I have just finished a commissioned shoot with a Scottish fashion brand, shooting both their Winter and SS18 collections, it was a great team and I feel quite honoured to be given the opportunity.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BRAND IN YOUR ULTIMATE BUSINESS DREAM?
The dream would be to have a perfect balance between my brand and photography business, I enjoy both immensely and to have the opportunity to manage both would be the perfect mix!
HAVE YOU CONNECTED WITH A MENTOR FOR SUPPORT OR IS THERE A PUBLIC FIGURE WHO INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR BUSINESS?
I am mostly self taught, there are lots of photographers who inspire me, I like photographers who rely more on their intuition and creativity as opposed to their technical abilities!
YOUR DESIGNS WILL LIKELY HAVE INSPIRED SOMEONE PREPARING TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN COLLECTIONS. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOUR INITIAL LAUNCH?
Speaking as a photographer who has experience of launching an e-commerce brand and photographing a brand for 5 years, I would suggest you get the best images possible of your designs, have an identity which is also communicated through your images so you are selling your brand and your product in one!
You can shop the current Maggie Mowbray collection here and discover for yourself why this lady simply oozes sophistication in everything she does.