On Thursday 6 December, the University’s ‘What it Takes’ event series hosted a panel discussion including Westminster alumni who shared their advice and experience on how they successfully launched their products.

The panel included Business Management alumna and Founder of Yull Shoes Sarah Watkinson-Yull, Media and Communication alumnus, now Founder and CTO of Brizi, Yosi Romano and Manon Planche, Founder and Designer of the womenswear label Manon Planche, who studied the Fashion Design BA Honours course.

The event was hosted by the University of Westminster’s Students’ Union President, Lareb Naseem, who worked as a freelance producer prior to her current role at the University.

Each speaker offered essential tips on how to build a product and engage with a wide audience. The panel discussed topics including product inspiration, branding, and attracting and keeping customers. They also shared their lessons learnt from challenging situations and provided attendees with tips on how to handle failures.

Speaking about failures that can be faced when building a product, Fashion Designer Manon Planche said: “There are some good wins and some losses and you have to learn from losses along the way to get more wins.”

Business Management alumna Sarah Watkinson-Yull, now Founder and Creative Director of Yull Shoes, also said: “You could have the best product in the world but unless you are prepared to do the hard work it’s not worth anything.”

Yosi Romano, Media and Communication alumnus, insisted on the importance to be passionate about the product you launch and to never give up: “Failing is really important. If people need to invest money in you they will be more than happy to invest money in someone who tried something, failed and got more energy back to do something else.

“Take the best bits out of failure, that’s the key to success. Don’t go into it in the first place if you are not passionate about it. You are the biggest asset of your business.”

The event also enabled the public to find out more about an all-new contest set up by the University’s Creative Enterprise Centre (CEC), entitled the Big Idea Competition, providing students with opportunities to start their journeys towards building and launching their products.

Find out more about the ‘What it Takes’ series organised by the Westminster Alumni Relations team.

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