Student clothing brand takes off with Enterprise funding

February 15, 2018

A Level Business student Callum Trimby started up his own clothing brand with his brother in May last year. Almost one year in, Callum has spoken about their success and how HSDC’s Enterprise funding got them to where they are today.

“My brother, Ethan, and I always wanted to go into business with each other, even from a young age. We are really close, he is my best friend as well as my brother,” explained Callum.

“We both have a good eye for clothing. The defining moment was when I bought a hoodie from a well-known British fashion retailer and it was the worst hoodie I had ever bought. The quality was so bad, and I remember saying to Ethan ‘we could do better than this’.

“We started working on a logo and soon came up with something that was a combination of both of our initials – ETCT. It worked for us. We have a good eye for design and messed around with a brand name for a while. We wanted our clothes to be something everyone can own but at the same time be of a high quality, and eventually we decided on ‘Per la Gente’, which means ‘for the people’ in Italian.”

Callum and Ethan then spent time choosing a manufacturer, knowing that they wanted their clothing to be produced locally, so they can check on the quality and be fully involved in every process. The Trimby brothers also knew the core morals they wanted at the heart of their brand.

“We are very environmentally conscious,” said Callum. “We knew we wanted our business to be a sustainable and ethical company. This is what helped our decision in choosing a manufacturer.”

And Callum has said the feedback he has received from customers has been ‘overwhelming’.

“Everyone said it is the best hoodie they own,” he said. “It is great to know that there are huge brands out there and yet we have people choosing our brand instead.”

Callum first found out about the Enterprise scheme when he spoke to his Business lecturer, Celeste, about Per la Gente. Soon after, lecturers Will Sparrow and Alec Dyer met with Callum to find out more about his business and told him how Enterprise funding can help it to grow.

Callum continued: “The funding allowed us to do a bulk order of stock. I remember coming home to boxes and boxes of hoodies and being completely overwhelmed. We sold 19 in the first evening! It is an amazing feeling seeing other people in our clothing.

“It has been absolutely amazing. I know that if we hadn’t gone through Enterprise we wouldn’t have had the success we have had.”

Callum says after A Levels he hopes to go on to a Higher Apprenticeship in Project Management, eager to get into the world of work.

“University has never been in my ‘life plan’. I want to take control and start my career,” he said.

And does Callum have any advice for students thinking of starting up their own business?

“You just have to do it,” Callum said. “You have to find out the logistics of it but if it’s what you want to do you just have to do it.”

Lecturer Alec Dyer said: “The Enterprise society ‘Evolve’ was launched in 2015 and over the past few years has helped a number of student businesses on their entrepreneurial journeys. In addition to offering general business advice and support, the society also has an interest free loan scheme in place to help students get started.

“One student who has recently taken advantage of this scheme is Callum Trimby, who applied for a loan to purchase high quality stock for his exciting new fashion brand – Per La Gente.

“Callum has done fantastically well over the past few months in gaining exposure and increasing sales and social media following for his high quality products. Not prepared to rest on his laurels, Callum is constantly looking at ways to further develop his brand and offering – I think the next 12 months are going to be really exciting for Per La Gente so watch this space!”

To keep up to date with when the Per la Gente website launches, register your interest at perlagente.co.uk

For more information on Business courses at HSDC, visit click here.