Phoenix Fabrics was a short-lived venture by Mike Baldwin to return to the rag trade in 1990. Mike established the company while working as a salesman for Ingram's Textiles, a year after selling Baldwin's Casuals to Maurice Jones. The intervening months had seen Mike lose most of his capital in a property scam. When Peter Ingram offered him a job, Mike was so desperate for work that he signed a contract preventing him from setting up in the same lines as Ingram or using his contacts for five years. After five months, Mike yearned to be his own boss again and created Phoenix Fabrics with the intention of installing a manager who would be the face of the company, thus keeping him safe from Ingram's lawyers.
As Managing Director, Mike set about recruiting a right-hand-man, conducting interviews in his flat No. 6 Quebec House, Weatherfield Quays. Among the applicants considered were Mr Akhtar and Jackie Williams. He had yet to make his mind up when he and Alma Sedgewick went to dinner at the Ingram residence and discovered that Jackie was actually Peter's wife, who had been sent for an interview by Peter to find out what Mike was up to. Peter then forced Mike to dissolve the company and moved him inside the factory as work's manager where he could keep an eye on him, threatening to sue him for every penny he had if he pulled a similar stunt again.