notebook making machine cake making machine for home:Family ties: The Jaeger MD, her mum and daughter share their fashion story with BusinessLive

  Almost 18 months after taking over at relaunched Jaeger, managing director Fiona Lambert said she is enjoying seeing the results of her hard work pay off.

  With a background in senior roles at Next, George, its parent company Asda, Dunelm and River Island she was brought in when Marks and Spencer spent £6 million buying Jaeger out of administration in January, last year.

  She set out building on a heritage dating back 137 years, rolling out fresh ranges with a nod to the brand’s enduring credentials.

  In October Jaeger launched its first autumn/winter collection as a standalone business under the M&S umbrella, and recently brought out its 2022 spring/summer collection.

  Dedicated Jaeger sections are being added to a further 14 M&S stores – including Kingston, Oxford and York – and later this year it will begin store trials in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

  It is also pushing forward with digital sales on the parent group website, as well as M&S websites in 80 different countries, with good followings already in the US, Australia and France.

  Fashion played a big part in Fiona Lambert’s early years – she grew up watching her mum Anne Woodman sewing dresses at home.

  In turn it also influenced her daughter, Georgia Tyrrell, who recently joined the M&S events team. BusinessLive was lucky to catch up with all three.

  It had been a whirlwind few months for the Jaeger MD, launching it online last October and initially in 12 M&S stores – including a full “store within a store” in Edinburgh.

  Bringing together Jaeger and M&S, she said, was a marriage made in heaven.

  Fiona, who is from Leicestershire, said: “You’ve got 20 million customers looking at M&S which means lots of new people have found Jaeger, and I think people have got even better perceptions of Jaeger’s quality and design since we started.

  “Getting the chance to reposition the brand and not losing any of its amazing history and qualities meant we could have a great range online, with beautiful photographs, with videos and that’s had a great response.

  “We’ve got further store expansion very strongly in our minds and the other exciting thing is we are just about to launch internationally in stores as well.

  “Because Jaeger has an international heritage there’s already a lot of appetite for it in countries which already have M&S stores. It will be a shop-within-a-shop, just as it is in the UK, but we do think there are opportunities to go separately as well.”

  The Jaeger team is still quite small but growing, with an “agile, slightly entrepreneurial spirit”, operating as an independent business with the backing of the big M&S machine.

  “We are all very hands on, and I care passionately about it.”

  She was lucky to have been steered into fashion from an early age, which was something she had tried to share in her own career, working with schoolchildren and university students to encourage them into the business.

  She said: “There were always clothes being sewn in our house and I obviously gained a passion for it, which is why I ended up making my own clothes and chose to do fashion.

  “Maybe people don’t make as many of their own clothes at home now, but I do think the drive for sustainability is making people choose clothes that will last longer – and that’s something we are really focussing on with Jaeger with both lasting style and enduring quality.”

  Fiona Lambert’s mum Anne Woodman doesn’t have a formal background in fashion – she was a teacher – but started dressmaking when she was looking after her two children.

  Her own mother was a dressmaker – who even made Anne’s wedding dress – and her great-grandfather was a master tailor in Glasgow.

  For Anne it started as a hobby and widened out to dressmaking for friends and family.

  “I used to make most of Fiona’s clothes,” she said, “when she was little, and I just loved being entrenched in the fashion side of it.

  “I went to night classes and read and researched a lot and, I think, became quite a competent dressmaker and follower of fashion.

  “I’ve never known a child like Fiona, who decided at the age of seven that she wanted to be a fashion designer and stuck to that forever.

  “She used to lie on the floor doing drawings and dressing up her little models in lovely clothes and that was the start.

  “I think possibly she was influenced by me, seeing me sewing and working with clothes. She was my little assistant, pinning the hems on the dresses I was making.”

  Georgia Tyrrell started working in campaigns and events in the M&S clothing and home team last September.

  She grew up watching her mum taking on key jobs at big high street brands, something that she said was incredibly inspiring and helped her appreciate the value of hard work.

  The Leeds University graphic communication and design graduate got married, moved home in Leicester and started at M&S within a month of each other, because “very much like my mum, I like being busy – it’s keeping busy that we love and it was a whirlwind.”

  Georgia, who is 28, worked in marketing and design agencies before joining the high street giant, and always had a passion for retail.

  She said: “For me it’s been the sector that’s always been trying to innovate a lot quicker, and I feel there’s an opportunity now for brands to try new things.

  “I’ve definitely been inspired by my mum. It would be hard not to, to be honest.

  “Growing up I was always trying on mum’s clothes and watching mum getting dressed to go out. It was always a massive inspiration to me, not just in the way she looks – although that definitely played a part – but, I suppose, in how fashion and clothes can make you feel.

  “That confidence she instils when she has a great outfit on is definitely something that’s been passed on.

  “This is the first job I’ve had in-house as well and I’ve watched mum work in different brands and different companies all in retail and fashion. It’s always where I wanted to go – I’m a big believer in serendipity and I feel like everything fell into place.

  “M&S is on a trajectory of growth in a space that is really changing and I think it’s a really exciting business to join.

  “I ask my mum things all the time and I like to think she does the same with me. We like bouncing ideas off each other and we have throughout our whole life – from school and university to problems with friends and problems with boys, definitely problems with fashion.

  “Professionally it always helps having someone who’s been in the business for so long to talk to.

  “But I have to say it was actually my nan – who has a PhD – who helped me with my dissertation when I was at university.”

notebook making machine cake making machine for home:Family ties: The Jaeger MD, her mum and daughter share their fashion story with BusinessLive