Young entrepreneurs: Phoebe Gormley, Gormley & Gamble
Determined to remedy “Britain’s epidemic of substandard women’s suits”, Gormley quit university to start the first women’s-only tailor business
Name: Phoebe Gormley
Company: Gormley & Gamble
Quitting university in your final year to start a business might seem like a big risk but for budding entrepreneur Phoebe Gormley it’s a ‘gamble’ that has paid off.
An undergraduate in costume design, Gormley was frustrated with the high fees of university and lack of contact time so decided to take her £9,000 in final year tuition fees to start Gormley & Gamble.
Launched in October 2014 and grown organically to date, 22-year-old Gormley has capitalised on her experience of making clothes – she has interned on Savile Row since the age of 15 – to create a tailoring business with a difference. A specialist in made-to-measure women’s suits, her London-based start-up is the first ever women’s only tailoring venture in the history of Savile Row; an achievement which Gormley describes as a major ‘breakthrough’.
With big name clients such as Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Gormley’s eponymous brand is steadily making waves in the fashion industry and has achieved seven figure revenues, press coverage in publications such as The Times, and is beginning to attract interest in the US.
While she “loves” being a young entrepreneur, Gormley says that starting up at the age of 21 has not been without its challenges and the responsibility of managing five employees (full-time and part-time) has been “pretty overwhelming”. She’s also had to overcome what she refers to as ‘imposter syndrome’; asking yourself questions like ‘Am I good enough for this role?’ ‘Can I take this business to the multi-million pound stage?’ but asserts that she’s starting to “shake off the fear”.
So where does Gormley see her brand in five years? While she currently shares a showroom in Savile Row, the female founder wants to have her own separate space on the street and is also eyeballing expansion in the states with business trips to New York in the pipeline.