Business is not always about boardrooms, briefings and black coffee. So, in tribute to those who take a more unusual approach to enterprise, Deputy Business Editor Steven Hugill examines the unconventional, alternative or downright difficult careers in the North-East

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a... fashion designer

Phil Woodhead, 30, runs Buckley, in Middlesbrough.

How did your career start? The first thing I ever drew was a woman wearing a dress.

I was about three-years-old, so it wasn't a masterpiece, but from there I progressed on to making clothes for Barbie dolls using whatever I could.

My grandmother was a tailoress in Darlington in the 1940s and 1950s and still sewed when I was a child, so there was always a steady amount of material to use.

What attracted you to fashion design? I've only ever wanted to design womens' clothes.

Women will always want to look good, they will always know what parts they want to emphasise and minimise and usually it's the bust and the waist which, thankfully, are the areas that make or break an outfit.

How did you channel your passion for designing at a young age? I studied fashion at Cleveland College of Art and Design, in Middlesbrough, from 1999 until 2003 and then entertainment design crafts, a course that covered all aspects of design for theatre, film and TV.

I was able to specialise in costume design on this course and because of that, had a bit more freedom with design and could exercise my creativity.

What did you do after your courses finished? As fashion is a notoriously difficult industry to break into, I jumped at the chance to become designer for Darlington bridal shop, Grace the Wedding Company, in 2010.

While college taught me design, pattern cutting, and sewing techniques, the three years I worked for Grace proved to be invaluable.

Working with real shapes and real people, listening to what they wanted and working with the seamstresses to achieve this taught me a great deal more than college ever could have.

This isn't a criticism of what I learned at college, industrial work experience and learning on the job are intrinsic parts of any career, but any creative profession will benefit from it.

So, what made you decide to start your own business? Due in part to the recession, and to the owner's ill health, Grace the Wedding Company ceased trading in 2012.

My next step was to put all I had learned into practice and start my own label, Buckley.

With help from the Prince's Trust, encouragement from friends and family, and typical Taurus stubbornness, it's all going really well.

Where have you showcased your work? In May, I showed my collection at Newcastle Fashion Week.

Four months of hard work and the creation of 16 outfits, ranging from day to evening and bridal wear, was over in five minutes.

My gowns were described as showstoppers, which pleased me immensely as that's what I'm all about.

Glamour should not be confined to the Oscars or Cannes, it should be there for everybody.

Local companies have been in touch with regard to stocking my label which I never for one minute expected, but I'm not complaining though.

What does the future hold for Buckley? Ideally, I'd like to build it into a recognisable brand, renowned not only for its tailoring and clean silhouettes but for its elegance, glamour and pure sexiness.

If Chanel can come from a single hat shop to the behemoth it now is, then I'm sure I can start one from a studio in Middlesbrough.