Young entrepreneurs: Tommy Mallet, Mallet. Footwear
Proving he's more than just a famous face, The Only Way Is Essex star's footwear brand is stocked in over 190 stores across Europe
Name: Tommy Mallet
Company: Mallet. Footwear
On the face of it, Tommy Mallet could well be dismissed as just another reality TV star looking for his 15 minutes.
The Only Way Is Essex star first burst onto our screens in 2014 during the show's thirteenth series, beginning a drama-filled on-screen romance with Georgia Kousoulou – with the pair remaining in the public eye ever since.
Only one part of his story though, Mallet's off-screen entrepreneurial journey was formed from his childhood experiences, long before the cameras started rolling.
Growing up on a council state in North London and eventually leaving school with no GCSEs, Mallet was often the target of school bullies who would taunt him over the fact his family couldn't afford to buy him fashionable clothes or trainers – and it was a memory that stuck with him.
Uneducated, Mallet was determined to work hard to succeed and, knowing he was already behind the chasing pack without any qualifications, took a job as a carpenter for three years to make ends meet.
Following his success on TOWIE, Mallet, who moved to Essex when he was 15, set about designing his own footwear brand.
Calling on the help of a friend who worked in the fashion industry, Mallet was able to create an initial prototype from his drawings and designs – which were inspired by the very type of trainers he couldn’t afford as a child.
Incredibly pleased with the results, the pair decided to partner up, and Mallet. Footwear was born.
Originally selling his shoes online, Mallet. Footwear’s first big break came in August 2016, when footwear chain Choice started stocking his designs – with the start-up soon outselling the likes of Michael Kors and DKNY.
Having now sold more than 150,000 pairs since launch, and currently stocked in more than 140 stores across Europe, the 25-year-old is predicting to make an incredible £4m this year.
Aiming for worldwide expansion within the next 12 months, having recently showcased his eponymous brand at Paris Fashion week and with celebrity customers including Drake, Olly Murs, will.i.am, Craig David and Eve, the only way for Mallet, it seems, is up.