Bad Clothing Company: Stuart Priest
On a mission to be the bold, British sportswear brand that golf player Stuart Priest felt was missing, this brand new start-up is soon to sponsor a pro golfer
Tell us what your business does:
We offer sports and fashion clothing for men: Currently polo shirts, t-shirts and caps. Future additions will include base layers, beanies, long-sleeved tops and shorts.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
As a golfer, I was sick and tired of wearing the same old brands and wanted something new, with a strong brand. There wasn’t anything I liked, so I decided to make my own.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The golf market has consisted of the same brands since I started playing golf 20 years ago. Most of them are American.
I felt the market needed a new brand that was bold in style and offered 21st century technology-based clothing at affordable prices.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was an IT consultant.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, and an inheritance has given me the chance to launch one.
How did you raise the money?
My inheritance and my savings. I am going to be looking at investment shortly in order to increase the depth and breadth of the range.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
I offer my shirts on my own website and through Amazon, and soon I’ll be approaching golf websites who sell apparel and equipment.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was getting the clothing samples right. I made a few mistakes regarding how to go about designing and ordering samples from China.
It was a steep learning curve, but something I guess you need to experience and learn from.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Actually, my first two sales were to the US market, and were made through my Twitter advertising. So it was amusing that I wanted to build a brand for the UK market, only to actually get my first sales in the US.
I’m also just about to sponsor a pro golfer on their tour for the 2018 season, so that’s pretty exciting as well.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
- Always go with your gut instinct and stick to your vision of what you want your business to be. If it feels right and looks right, it usually is.
- You will make mistakes, so don’t worry if you do. Just make sure you learn from them.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Running an international clothing business that has cracked the golf, tennis and cycling clothing markets.