Tell us a bit about your business
Nation Clothing is all about celebrating culture and taking pride in heritage. My brand aims to link African and Caribbean nations to the United Kingdom through fashion and clothing. We are a streetwear brand, starting off small with just t-shirts but I envision it expanding into so much more!
What inspired you to start?
I finished school in the summer of 2017 and was preparing to go to university in September, however, I was left with no university place thanks to my insurance university dragging their feet, resulting in me losing a place at a university I found in clearing on results day. I immediately decided that I was going to resit two of my A-levels and find a job in the legal sector – as I had initially planned to study Law.
After months of no success, and only being invited to one interview, I gave up, I felt left behind as all my friends had gone off to uni or had gotten really good jobs. In the early hours of one December morning, I had an epiphany! I started writing down all these crazy plans about this new company that I was going to create to make money. I remember reading an article about this Canadian man who made $300 overnight by selling t-shirts online; things just spiralled from there really.
What were your greatest challenges?
At the moment, my greatest challenge is balancing Nation Clothing and my studies. I have been so consumed by it as I want it to succeed so badly, I haven’t spent as much time as I should be revising and going over my work. Its especially hard because I am now an ‘independent’ student, I don’t have teachers chasing after me and setting me homework; my time-management skills are very important and are ultimately what will make me or break me.
I’ve also had issues with my funding, I have recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and at first it was going well. Within the first couple of days I made over £400, but things have started to plateau. I really need to spread the word and get Nation Clothing out there if I want the campaign to succeed.
What is the most rewarding part?
The one thing I have enjoyed the most about me starting Nation Clothing is the support and praise that I have received from the people around me. Starting with my Father who loaned me £250 to get started. A lot of that money went to planning a photoshoot which you can see the pictures of. That went AMAZINGLY well, everybody involved did it for free, and the day ran very smoothly, I even discovered I have quite a knack for logistics and planning! My Mother, friends and other relatives have also been showing me lots of support which is great. Its nice knowing there are people standing behind you in case you fall.
What advice would you give to others trying to start up their own business?
I’m not very experienced just yet, but If I could give any small piece of advice it would be one word: COLLABORATIONS!
As a start-up brand, you are most likely to not have an abundance of money to throw around. One thing I learnt from planning my photoshoot is that a lot of people are willing to help, and they do not expect payment. When you collaborate, everybody gets something out of it. Be it, photos of their work, models to do makeup and hair on, or photographers looking for studio space.
Always try to sell the opportunity as a plus for them, tell them about what you can help them with, not what you need from them.
Where do you see your business in the future?
In a year’s time, I hope to see Nation Clothing become a success, obviously! But seriously, after our launch sales I plan to expand our range almost immediately, branching into all types of apparel and accessories.
I also hope to see Nation Clothing become more than just a clothing brand. Nation Clothing will become a movement, a platform for young Black British artists, graphic designers, and fashion designers, to showcase and display their work on our clothing, through collaborations and partnerships.
In the near future, I wish to see our Kickstarter campaign be very successful, here is our link if you are interested in making a pledge:
We are looking to launch sales in April, though a final date has not been confirmed yet. Our website, and pre-orders will be launching in a couple of weeks’ time: