Dragons' Den star offers advice to Billingham vintage fashion entrepreneur

Billingham fashion entrepreneur Hannah Proctor received advice from business secretary Vince Cable and former Dragons' Den star James Caan at a breakfast meeting in London

James Caan with Hannah Proctor
James Caan with Hannah Proctor

A young vintage fashion entrepreneur was one of just a handful of people from across the country picked to receive firsthand advice from business secretary Vince Cable and former Dragons’ Den star James Caan at a breakfast meeting in London.

Hannah Proctor, 22, from Billingham. Co Durham, launched Aphrodite and Ares in the summer with funding and mentoring from Gateshead-based Transmit Start-Ups, and was able to tell Caan, now chairman of The Start Up Loans Company, the business is now going from strength to strength.

Aphrodite and Ares sold out of stock in its first week of operating and aims to bring the same professional shopping experience to vintage items one would expect with new clothes.

“It was a really inspirational morning,” Proctor said.

“James Caan explained why start-up businesses like mine were so important and we talked about my plans for the future.

“He was extremely supportive and even suggested that if I sent him some images of my clothes he would re-tweet them for me, which would be a huge boost.”

Director of Transmit Start-Ups Damian Baetens, who mentors Hannah as well as giving her financial support, said: “Despite her young age Hannah has a really sound business head and ambitious plans to exploit her unique offer. James Caan is one of the country’s most inspirational entrepreneurs.”

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