Lights, camera, costume: the small business taking centre stage
We’re shining the spotlight on another small business success story in partnership with Sky and Tim Campbell MBE. This time, we go behind the curtain with costume designer Camille Adomakoh, whose latest project sees her costuming Suranne Jones for Sky’s Original ‘A Christmas Carole’ production.
Camille has successfully pivoted her career, leaving her role as a hedge fund marketer to become a costume designer in film and televison. We speak to Camille about breaking down barriers in the TV and film industry, why she couldn’t do her job without technology and the importance of not taking things personally when you’re starting a business.
Let’s go behind-the-scenes with Camille as she shares her top tips for small-business success.
1. Creating your own brand
Camille’s background as a hedge fund marketing manager means she knows the importance of marketing herself and her business. “Everything and everybody is a marketable object, and I always have that in the back of my mind,” she says. Investing in creating a website or brand identity is a vital asset for your business. This has allowed Camille to promote her business and get out there in front of the right people and generate new opportunities and work – instead of just relying on having a network within the industry.
2. Building the right team around you
For businesses like Camille’s, where the work is project-based and the teams are constantly evolving, having a core team you can rely on is essential.
Having a team that you trust and that know what they’re doing is super important – if everything falls down, they’ll always pick it back up. I know they will never fail me, and I’ll never fail them.
3. Managing budgets and cashflow
Managing budgets and keeping track of what’s been spent is crucial for any small business. And this can be a challenge on a fast-moving production with vast logistics and many moving parts – when limited budgets mean every penny needs to be accounted for. Using business cards that are linked to production is the best way to keep track of costs, and means when Camille and her team are off set sourcing goods, they can pay for them in an instant.
4. Technology is your business’s best friend
“Technology is everything,” says Camille. “I couldn’t do my job without it.” There is a new breed of costume team where everything is done digitally, from the development of key documents such as costume bibles to using apps to manage continuity. There’s a strategy to how everything is recorded for production, Camille explains. “Everything’s accessible digitally for them, right down to the receipts.”
Small businesses should also consider how technology partners can support them when it comes to their finances. For example, Camille’s team use prepaid virtual cards, which allow everyone to have access to the budget and offer a secure way of covering production expenses.
5. Breaking down barriers
After starting out working on independent films, Camille broke into mainstream TV and film. "I just kept working hard and showing what I can do, regardless of what anybody thought of me." Camille’s tenacity and resilience has meant she’s been able to keep breaking down barriers for herself and her team, and she’s learnt not to take things personally when starting a business.
By creating the opportunities for others that weren’t there when she was starting out, Camille wants to bring talent from a diverse background into the industry and give others the opportunity to work in this space – bringing their fresh perspectives and ideas with them. For Camille, being able to build opportunities for others is an important marker of business success.
By creating her own brand and building the right team around her, Camille’s been able to break into a challenging industry and create opportunities not only for her business, but for others starting out in the industry as well.