Skido: Patrick Blanshard and Archie Kevill
The teenage entrepreneurs who hope to take the fashion world by storm
Name: Patrick Blanshard and Archie Kevill
Age: 15 and 16
Company name: Skido
Number of Employees: 0
Location: South West
Date launched: 30/03/2014
Tell us what your business does:
Skido is a new online clothing retailer that allows up and coming brands to advertise, market and sell products on. Our aim is to promote new, small and exciting clothing brands in order to give them the edge in what is a fiercely competitive industry, and also to supply the world with incredible original clothing that they can wear out and about with confidence.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea for the business came when we were searching through the internet to find summer clothing, whilst we were going through the sites we found that there was no site that acted as a hub for small, up and coming brands – even though these are usually the most exciting ones.
How did you know there was a market for it?
As we are at school we see trends coming in and out, we know that people our age group like to be different and that they like to wear clothing from new brands. We found that our idea was unique and this gave us a USP that most other sites in the fashion industry do not have.
What were you doing before starting up?
We are currently in 5th form and boarding at a school in North Dorset called Milton Abbey School, at the moment we are studying/doing our GCSE’s. We started up Skido when the school introduced an Entrepreneur in Residence Competition, we entered for this and received £100 funding from the school to start up.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
The idea of running our own business never really crossed our minds, but when we saw this opportunity and watched Anya Hindmarch’s lecture on ‘How to start a business’ our minds clicked. After a lot of discussions and brainstorming we came up with the idea of Skido (the online marketplace only for up and coming clothing brands).
How did you raise the money?
Our idea was funded by the school (Milton Abbey School) as they had a Entrepreneur in Residence Competition going on at the time. We were given £100 to start up and the winning business of this competition gets £2,000 in July.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The main challenge for us was to get Skido out there and doing the appropriate advertising to our target market. Another challenge was getting customers to our site, we overcame this by concentrating on getting more brands to join and therefore increasing the reasons for people to come to the site. Our biggest challenge was not to do with business though, it was the fact that we are both dyslexic and we overcame this through the amount of determination we both share.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
Skido operates on a drop-shipping basis, this means that we do not buy any stock. Any orders that go through our site get sent to the brand via email and then they post it. Skido makes money though commission on sales. For every sale that goes through our site we get 10% and we plan to increase this to 20%. We figured that if we take commission rather than having a monthly fee, brands would be more willing to sign up.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Our biggest breakthrough was securing our first brands (Zephyr Clothing, MANNA, Rogue London, UDI Creations, ER-Original and Pijo Clothing). Another great breakthrough for us was meeting Anya Hindmarch MBE to discuss our business and how we could improve it, her tips and advice were really helpful!
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
For budding entrepreneurs, keep going and don’t give up no matter what. If your passionate about something you will find time for it, we’ve found time for Skido even though we are sitting our GCSE’s at the same time! Keep going and remember, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In five years time, we would want the time that we have spent on Skido to have paid off significantly. We would like Skido to to be known worldwide and for it to be the first site that comes into people’s heads when shopping for clothing online.