Inspiring you on your next move
This month’s inspirational male entrepreneur: Sug Sean
Q: How did you start?
I injured my arm when I was 23 so I was off work for 6 months and so I decided to make an online thing. Like buying and selling- similar to Gumtree. It was targeted towards Caribbean Islands. And that’s how I kind of got into the whole online thing. It just took off from their. People had to pay to list things and I learnt how to generate income online and built an online platform
Q: Why did you choose kids fashion?
When I injured my arm I was dating a girl who’s mum had an online platform for selling kids clothing. She was a retailer and so I started working for her company. Her mum taught me how to buy and I was able to travel though the job I had with her to places like Italy and New York. So I became a visual merchandiser and I met people in the fashion industry and ended up going to a lot of trade shows and lots of fashion events. I wasn’t a designer or anything, I was just around those sorts of people. I met some manufacturers and just decided to launch my own footwear collection. Like everyone does clothes but not many people do footwear. I went to Italy, stayed there for a few weeks and met a really good manufacturer and launched the collection.
But this business is just a hobby, I still have my full time job but it helps that I work in fashion and so I have access to good connections to help the business. Connecting with different retailers.
Q: What was the hardest part?
Designing the bloody shoes. Like I’m not a designer, I’m not that creative. I can’t draw or anything like that. So I had to practice and so a lot of sketches which were sent back and forth from the UK to Italy because the manufacturers are out there. And then you have to try and explain what materials you want where on the shoe and what particular colours you want. I think that was the most difficult part, turning something that’s on paper into an actual product
Q: Whats the most rewarding part?
I did everything from scratch, from the illustrations to the actual samples to having various people from around the world contact you and wanting to see something that you’ve created. Seeing so much flourish from your drawings on a piece of paper
Q: How do you see it developing in the future?
I don’t actually have a plan. It’s not about the money, I just wanted to create something. It took a life of its own. But I’m hoping to see it being stocked in shops. Just to get them out there. I wanted to keep them at a premium price because I see the guys making the shoes and there’s only 5 of them. Really old. And they’ve been making shoes for such a long time. When cut backs are made to make things cheaper and sell at high volumes it is usually those guys who lose. They lose out in that process and I don’t want them to suffer.
1) Just create it and get it done. Don’t procrastinate. Get your research done, do a lot of networking and just get it done.
2) I’d also say to take people’s advice but with a filter on it. Like my mentor has been in fashion for 30 years and has a £30 million company and she thought it was a crazy idea. I listened to her advice but I still created a product but just did it in a different way.
3) I created a page through social media so all of my trainers were already sold before they had been created. So I advertised photos of what they would be like, got the money, then paid the manufacturers in Italy to make it. Then with the profit I gained I put it back into the company to create more product to generate more profit