Two entrepreneurial brothers from Brighton have set up a unique clothing business with help from the government’s Start Up Loan scheme and Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG).
After graduating from Cardiff University, James Robinson, 23, was interested in fashion, and his brother David, 25, had spent time working in Australia and was ready to return home and try something new. With the growing desire to work for themselves and a strong interest in menswear and street wear, the brothers were keen to set up a clothes store in Brighton and applied for a Start Up Loan.
Start Up Loans is a government initiative for anyone who is looking to set up their own business and can’t get funding from other sources. The scheme provides expert business mentoring support and access to low cost funding. The scheme was previously only available to 18-25 year olds; however, in 2013, the age cap was removed and the scheme is now open to anyone over the age of 18 who has the ambition and enthusiasm to launch their own business.
The Let’s Do Business Group, which administers the scheme in the South East, reviewed the Robinson brothers’ business plan and agreed to fund their new business. This allowed them to set up their independent menswear store Krusoe, based in the Brighton Lanes and also available online at www.krusoe-store.co.uk.
Krusoe is inspired by the tale of Robinson Crusoe – a man able to adapt to any setting or surrounding, whether it be stranded on a desert island or about town. The clothes the brothers stock are finely crafted and carefully selected exclusive premium brands to suit the needs of a modern man.
As well as showcasing and selling exclusive brands, the Krusoe store also has a downstairs chill out area, where customers can sit and play FIFA, and regularly holds in-store events showcasing the latest DJs.
James and David said: “We spotted a gap in the market for the type of product we wanted to offer, but simply didn’t have enough funding to bring it to fruition. The Start Up Loan has enabled us to successfully launch Krusoe and we were able to use the money for essential things, such as the deposit on the property, legal fees and materials for the shop fit.”
Graham Marley, Chief Executive of the LDBG, said: “I am delighted that the Start Up Loan scheme has enabled James and David to launch such a modern and innovative clothing store. They are hardworking and ambitious young men and I have no doubt that Krusoe will have ongoing success.”
The Start Up Loan scheme has helped over 13,000 businesses nationally, lending over £65 million to help ambitious people get their business ideas off the ground.
The brothers added: “It has been a steep learning curve for both of us. Getting to grips with the business and managing cash flow has been difficult, but our mentor George Clayson of Mazars has been instrumental in helping us with the whole process and supports all of our ideas.”
For more information on the Start Up Loan scheme, click here, call the Start Up Loan hotline on 0844 9432988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ask for an information pack.