M&Co fashion show
'We approached M&Co after one of our members suggested we work with them to hold a fashion show. M&Co staff were keen to support our event, and we booked it two months in advance. Having confirmed the date, local businesses were approached and asked to donate raffle prizes. M&Co provided the tickets, and the event was hosted from 7pm to 9pm on their premises. We agreed on a ticket price of £5, including wine and nibbles, with guests giving an additional donation for extra refreshments.
We had a varied group of volunteer models, including school staff, PTA members and people from the local community. In total, we had about 20 models, ranging from four to 80 years old! Prior to the event, each model visited M&Co to select two outfits. The staff were fantastic at helping them choose their items.
The school provided the chairs, which were set up in rows to create the catwalk, and the school's music department provided us with a PA system and a compere, who described the outfits as each model took to the catwalk.
On the night, models could purchase clothes with a 25% discount, and guests were given a 20% discount on clothes and accessories. To date, we have organised two successful fashion show events. Each has raised around £800, and they've helped us to build links with local businesses, too.'
Evelyn Cairney, PTA Member, St Ninian's High School, Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire (800 pupils)
Boden shopping night
'As a fan of Boden and Mini Boden, I thought I would try holding a shopping party.
Boden supplied five rails of clothes, mainly from its womenswear and childrenswear collections. The rails were collapsible and the clothes came on hangers and in garment bags, so setting up took very little time. Boden provided samples in a variety of sizes to give people an idea of fit, fabric and colours. It also sent its two bestselling jeans and trousers styles in all sizes, as finding the right fit tends to be tricky. Orders were then placed using the school's unique promotional code, which gave customers a 20% discount on the RRP.
We received a 25% commission on all new customer orders and 5% for orders from repeat customers. (The commission has since changed to 20% for new customers and 10% for repeat customers.) Plenty of brochures were supplied and we used the school's iPads for customers to place orders directly on Boden's website.
Boden supplied Facebook and email invites so we needed someone who was happy to promote the event and be the lead person. This involved waiting for the courier and being in charge of looking after the clothes and packing them away correctly.
The event ran from 7:30-9:30pm on a Thursday evening. Boden gave us a £50 gift voucher which we used as a raffle prize. We had a licensed bar and sold a glass of prosecco and three raffle tickets for £5. We made £150 from this and £375 in Boden commissions. The only expenses were the TEN and drinks for the bar.'
Lisa Vose, PTA Co-Chair, St Anne's Fulshaw CofE Primary, Wilmslow, Cheshire (126 pupils)
'Organising fundraising events can be labour intensive and time-consuming, however our fashion show event was quite the opposite. Not only did it add a fresh and exciting event to our annual fundraising calendar, it was also very well received by the parents, friends and families of the school – and it was incredibly easy to organise.
We used The Fashion Style House and absolutely everything we needed was provided – from a PA system, clothing, jewellery and accessories, down to mirrors for the dressing-room area.
The Fashion Style House also sent us marketing materials including posters and tickets. They have thought of everything to make the running of this event as easy as possible. All we needed to do was set up the hall with tables and chairs, find five models, sell tickets and provide a bar (obtaining a TEN). Our event raised over £1,000 through a combination of ticket and bar sales. The entrance ticket (sold in advance for £7 each, or £5 per ticket for four or more) included a glass of prosecco on arrival and a complimentary goody bag. Our local Estee Lauder pharmacy and JoJo Maman Bebe stores kindly donated some promotional goods and samples for us to pop into the goody bags. We decided to do this because we'd sold 95 tickets so quickly and there really wasn't a lot more to organise!
During the interval, we played a game of heads and tails for a £1 fee. Everyone joined in this fun addition to the evening.
At the end of the show, guests had an opportunity to try on and purchase (by cash or card) the clothes that had been modelled. The clothing was very popular as it was current stock from famous high-street brands, all sold with big savings of up to 75% off the retail price.
It was a great evening, with a perfect mix of shopping and socialising, and we were kept thoroughly entertained by an extremely professional and fully catered show – our PTA team couldn't recommend it highly enough!'
Aletha Robertson, event organiser, Bridgewater Primary School Association, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire (282 pupils)