JUST five years ago, Jade Goulden was working in ASOS' buying team – when she spotted a gap in the market for celeb-inspired streetwear.
After quitting her job, it wasn't long before those same big names were wearing her designs – with the likes of Beyoncé, Rita Ora and Taylor Swift all donning Jaded London.
The 30-year-old entrepreneur, from London, and her brother Grant, 27, who runs Jaded Man, made their first million in 2016 and are on track to turnover £3.5 million this year.
They spoke exclusively to Fabulous Digital for #BOSSINGIT, our series about ordinary women who have launched incredible businesses.
Jade said: "We spotted in a gap in the market for good price point streetwear that could sell on the mainstream high street.
"I quit my job in April 2013 and launched the brand in September. It was scary, because you can't go back. But we made our first million in 2016."
A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on
Grant added: "We had this vision because Rihanna and Rita Ora and all these celebrities had just started to wear streetwear instead of high end labels – streetwear looked more fresh.
"Our grandfather was a tailor, so fashion runs in our blood."
Determined to get their designs into high street stores like Topshop, Selfridges and Urban Outfitters, Jade and Grant discovered a network of factories in Leicester who could bring their clothes to life.
Jade said: "We literally drove to Leicester every single day. It was blood, sweat and tears to get it made. Within a month we had sold to nearly all the main stockists."
Grant, who was studying business at Nottingham University at the time, added: "We went and saw the retailers at the end of September and got orders from all of them.
We literally drove to Leicester every single day. It was blood, sweat and tears to get it made
"They wanted deliveries at the end of November, which gave us six weeks to manufacture the clothes.
"You can only really do that fast fashion from Leicester, but it was not an easy process.
"We had to beg factories, who don't know you, to make us samples – and they don't know if they're going to get orders from you.
"That was the hardest part, it was much easier selling to the retailers."
The siblings got their business off the ground with a £20,000 loan – which they ploughed into stock and the website.
Their cutting edge designs include everything from graffiti catsuits to neon fleece jackets, tie-dye denim co-ords, statement sunglasses, flame print mini dresses and bright patterned bikinis.
Prices start at £5 for statement scrunchies and go up to £85 for sequin catsuits, snake-print coats and feathered capes.
Jade said: "Our products are good quality, they're statement pieces our fans can use to express themselves and show off on Instagram.
"When we initially launched, our big focus was getting it into ASOS and Topshop, so we could get the volume of orders the factory needed and also exposure to customers – because we were obviously unknown.
"Our website is growing really rapidly and we've got over 160,000 Instagram followers now."
They now employ 15 members of staff but still oversee everything themselves – from design, to creative direction and costings.
Jade said: "We work from 8am to 11pm. Sometimes we're in the office, sometimes we're running around going to meetings."
Grant added: "We literally just got back from Seoul in South Korea, on a fashion research inspiration trip, then we went straight to China to see our factories and build stronger relationships.
"Last summer we had a two-month pop-up store in Carnaby Street and we had loads of Love Island stars come to the opening."
Taylor Swift wore our sequin bomber every night on her 2015 world tour – from that we sold about 8,000 jackets
Jade said: "We wrapped the shop in hologram vinyls, it was a real Instagram destination."
Star exposure has been key in making Jaded London a must-have fashion line.
Grant said: "Celebrities really helped us to grow the business.
"We had Beyoncé, Rita Ora, Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift all wear our clothes within a couple of months in 2014.
"That first season and had a really high sell through. Everyone wanted to buy more from us."
Jade added: "Taylor Swift wore our sequin bomber every night on her 2015 world tour – from that we sold about 8,000 jackets.
"We set the trend, whereas other online brands follow it.
"We’re what the cool kids are wearing. At the moment we’re targeting people like Billie Eilish, rather than Beyoncé.
"She’s cooler, she’s headlining Coachella, and we want the new up-and-coming people."
Ellie Goulding and Cara Delevingne have also worn their designs.
Why I support #BOSSINGIT
Sun on Sunday columnist Karren Brady says:
"I am a passionate supporter of encouraging women to learn new skills to help give them the confidence to reach out and achieve their ambitions.
"This brand new series will help share different stories which I hope will act as inspiration and show just what can be achieved with grit and determination."
Although they've already made millions, the siblings are far from happy and see big things in the future for Jaded London.
Jade said: "We’re never satisfied, we never look at something and think ‘Oh that’s amazing’, we think ‘that’s not good enough’.
"We always want the next thing. That’s what I think keeps us going and keeps us successful.
"If we get great sales on the website we want to double it. If we get Beyoncé, we want the next best thing.
"We're only as good as our last collection, our retailers could say 'this didn't sell very well, we don't want to buy your next one'."
Grant added: "It's made us tougher, this is a very cut-throat, ruthless industry."
In last week's #BOSSINGIT, we spoke to a boring office worker who runs a sex toy company set to make £100k on the side – and her dad’s involved too.
Source: Read Full Article