The Re-Brand

It amazes me everyday that 13 going on 14 years later we are still here. Our journey hasn’t been smooth one especially over the last few years….but we keep fighting, adapting and never giving up.

The Worst Year of My Life

Back in 2022 when we were Fazane Fox – Production Lab things were going well. We had successfully ridden out Covid, tripling our turnover due to most of our brands being online, and having the time to re-think all our processes and update the website which resulted in us gaining bigger and better clients.

Unfortunately success isn't always what you imagined it to be and in early 2022 I realised that I needed to put my health first after I was hospitalized with extreme anxiety and a stomach ulcer.

I had an awful lot going on in my personal life, and we unfortunately had a really difficult client who treated the whole team so badly, withheld payments and caused so many problems. I came into work one day and had a panic attack in the kitchen. I’d never had a panic attack in my life so was really shocked.

From that point on the panic and anxiety got so bad, that I couldn't function. I couldn’t leave the house as my whole body would shake uncontrollably from morning to night. The pain I was in as a result was horrific and is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life.

The only thing that kept me going through this time was the thought that I had to look after my son and the girls in my team. If I hadn't of had them then I 100% would not be here now.

I took a month of work in June 2022 and went off to Bali to complete a retreat in the hope I would get well again, and/or learn to manage my symptoms. Unfortunately not long after arriving I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer and had to be flown back home for treatment as they couldn’t do anything to help me manage the extreme pain apart from heavily sedate me.

It turns out the pain was psychosomatic and on my return to the UK my treatment plan was adjusted and I started to get slowly get better. I had lost over two stone during my illness, was still very weak and quite honestly traumatised by my experience. Even though I was getting better I didn't feel like I could continue with the business. Nothing….even my dream was worth losing my life over.

The view from my room @ the Kembali Centre in Bali

Against All Odds – She’s Back!

By now the business was in serious trouble which didn’t help my mental state either. Due to my illness and not being able to gain new clients we lost over £750,000 worth of sales in 22-23 as well as losing many due to Brexit and the cost of living crisis….could it get any worse….I have to deal with bankruptcy now too??

I told the girls I couldn’t do it anymore but they sat me down and reminded me of my dream of having my own fashion business since the age of 4 and that they wouldn’t let me lose it.

We came up with a plan and worked hard to try and replace the lost business but at the back of my mind I still wasn’t sure. In early 2023, I took my name off the business and rebranded to just “The Production Lab” as I didn’t want it to be about me anymore, and then organised a meeting with a lovely man called Paul Goldman of Bradan Associates to discuss an exit strategy.

I was still pretty frail, pretty sure I cried in front of him at our first meeting and had severe anxiety in the run up to our meeting. However, Paul saw a glimmer of that old spark I had for my business and called me up a week later to offer his help in guiding myself, the team and business back to a healthy place.

And that folks was the start of our comeback…..with the help of Paul we brought in Danielle from The Gather Creative to create and develop a brand new website, Liselle from Tailored Marketing Solutions to generate a marketing strategy and internally we did a lot of work on the business side of things and brought in a new all-female accountancy firm Troy Business Services which helped to transform our finances.

We sat down as a team and decided we needed to go back to my original core values and reason for starting the business “Not your average manufacturer”. I used to work for a large high street supplier and we were treated so badly by our clients and even internally that I promised myself my business would never be like that and to “do things differently”.

Our Core Values

We decided we would put my name back on the business as people buy from people and given my unusual name a lot of people know it in the industry and it has become a respected name in manufacturing so Fazane Fox –Production Agency was born. We added the agency part as we offer so much more than your average manufacturer and felt that agency encompassed this.

So here we are in 2024 on the road to recovery. We have a new website and direction focusing on projects that have meaning. I’ve put all that weight back on and am in such a better place now mentally. I will always struggle with anxiety but I’m a fighter and have learnt to cope with it so much better now.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my girls Chloe & Cathryn, Paul, Danielle, Liselle and many others...especially my close friends and family.

Thankyou for believing in me and not letting me give up on my dream.

Much Love

Fazane xx

"I just wanted to say thanks so far to you and your team! You're making this process a really positive one and stress free so far and I'm really grateful for all of your help!"

Shelley / Childrenswear Brand

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