Inspirational Woman: Polly McMaster | Founder & CEO of The Fold

The Fold - Polly McMaster 2 FinalTell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently

I am the Founder and CEO of The Fold – a fashion brand focused on dressing the professional woman in a stylish, contemporary way. My career has been quite diverse up to this point – I started in science, and have a PhD in Virology. I then worked in life sciences / healthcare consulting at L.E.K. Consulting, where I caught the bug for business and loved working on fast-paced strategy projects. I then moved into Private Equity, investing in inspiring businesses and entrepreneurs. Finally my love for fashion and business has combined to form The Fold – where we interact daily with amazing business women and challenge ourselves to build an amazing brand.

 What has been your biggest challenge?

Starting a business from scratch is undoubtedly a huge challenge. Going from a business plan on paper to a real business, and creating a product that people want to buy is a steep learning curve. Everyday there are different issues to overcome, from raising money, running the financial side of the business, building a strategy for the future, implementing the day to day customer service and sales capabilities, running a supply chain, managing an office… you get the picture!

What’s been your greatest achievement personally?

I am very proud of The Fold and what we have achieved so far in a short period of time, although it has undoubtedly been a team effort. Watching the business develop from idea to reality and then seeing our client’s confidence grow as they wear a Fold dress is a fantastic feeling.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?

Growth businesses are really exciting – whether you are on the operational side or investment side – so one way or another this is the world that I want to be in.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I am inspired by anyone who has pushed themselves to find a career they love and excel in it. We meet so many clients with diverse backgrounds and achievements, and each one inspires us to build a brand and business that they want to be part of.

What does the future hold for you?

I am excited to see The Fold continue to grow!

We are developing a huge amount of momentum and I know that we have a great future in front of us. In five years time the clients we will have worked with, the products we will have developed and the markets we will have entered, will have taken us to the next chapter and beyond.

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