Mentor of the Month: How Dessy Tsolova runs her business

We're incredibly proud of our mentoring programme at Virgin StartUp. We do our utmost to match every loan recipient with the perfect mentor for them, someone who can guide them through the difficulties of startup life and encourage them to succeed - someone who can share their expertise and prevent them from making the same mistakes they did in the early days.

Our new feature, Mentor of Month, celebrates this. Every month we'll be taking nominations from our startups, and picking a mentor who's gone above and beyond for their mentees. This month we've picked Dessy Tsolova, who was nominated by not one, but two of her mentee. Here's a bit more about Dessy and what her business, Utelier, does.

Business name: Utelier

Based in: London


Twitter: @utelier


Mentee: Deborah (Zaazee), Jack (Zulu London), Lee (Bore Off), Hugo (Plum of London), Sonia (8 Hour Studio)

What’s your current business?

An online fashion educational resource, directory and platform connecting people with product ideas to designers and manufacturers worldwide, who can turn the ideas into reality.

What’s your specialist area of business?

Fashion product design, development and manufacturing.

Sum up your attitude to business in one word


How do you make sure you achieve your daily goals?

I write a daily list of priorities for that day and list in order of urgency and importance.

What tech can’t you live without?

My phone, as it allows me to work from anywhere.

What book/magazine/blog would you recommend people read, and why?

So many good ones to choose from but perhaps “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber, and Seth Godin’s daily blog (

Why do you love being a VSU mentor?

Because of the commitment and quality of the entrepreneurs VSU selects and the support provided to both mentees and mentors alike.

What’s the best startup advice you have received?

“Fortune favors the bold!”


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