Woman in Progress: Alexandra Wood, Savile Row Tailor

Our Woman in Progress today is Alexandra Wood, one of the first female tailors on Savile Row.  Alexandra works from Savile Row and showrooms in Shoreditch and Bishop's Stortford and also has an online shop featuring her ready-to-wear collection.  Her beautiful work has been featured on celebrity clients and in magazines such as GQ.  She is well known for her style advice for the discerning suit wearer but today has a different, but no less special, advice for you here.  Thank you Alex for taking time to answer our questions. 

Image by John Cassidy

Image by John Cassidy

What’s the one thing in your life that makes things easier?

A supportive husband, 100% he’s always rooting for me and is always my biggest fan.

What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?

My kids, they make me smile every day other than that - red lippy!

What’s one thing that you would stop if you could?

Worrying so much.  It does get in the way of enjoying the moment.

What one piece of advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?

Work with people and other businesses that are in alignment with what you do and what you believe in.

What one piece of advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

If you believe in something, stick with it.  Hard work does pay off.  But also know to re-direct and adapt as you go along your path if it’s simply not working.

What are you most proud of?

What my business looks like now compared to where I started.  It’s come on leaps and bounds and the amount I’ve learned is unbelievable.  Business takes quick learning and a passion for discovery.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at work?

Not to bitch!  If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say it.  Keep your integrity at all times.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at home?

To be yourself.  There’s no point in being something you’re not.

Did you expect to be doing what you’re doing right now?

I was pretty determined from a young age.  I would daydream at school and say to my dad - one day I’m going to run my own business.  He said doing what?  And I just said - "something, I don’t know what, but I will!"

How did you end up doing what you’re doing?

I’ve always loved fashion.  I worked into retail for years, learning from the ground up.  My first big job was as a bespoke Tailoring manager at the age of 21 for Shanghai Tang, Sloane Street.  That really helped me understand what it took to really run a business.

What top tip would you pass on to other women in progress reading this?

Don’t ever doubt yourself.  Times will always come when you question why you’re doing this, but just remember the reason you started and if you can’t imagine doing anything else, then this is something you have to and should stick to.

Are you done yet?

Never.  Everyone asks me if they think it’s possible for me to say- ok that’s enough.  But I have something in me that just keeps driving forward to the next thing.  I don’t do it for anyone but myself.  I don’t think you can.

What’s next?

We are launching our new website imminently and are building our business model for the next 5 years, as it has changed and I’m very excited to see if I can get this Tailoring fantasy from my brain to reality. 

We wish Alex luck with the new business plan and bringing it to life.  You can see for yourself what Alexandra gets up to by visiting her Instagram and Facebook and for the Pinterest addicts among you, her account here.  This online inspiration might just benefit the husbands, partners, brothers and fathers of you, our women in progress readers, to be super well dressed - show them too!  

The beautiful Bishops Stortford shop. Image by  Adam Betterby

The beautiful Bishops Stortford shop. Image by Adam Betterby