CLOTHING BRAND WITH A CUSTOMISING TWIST, RUN BY STINK (SIMON LOCKWOOD) AND CHAR.1 (CHARLIE LACEY-LENNOX)
YHP Speaks to the two founders.
Hello, how’re you both doing? Welcome to YHP.
Were both fine, just very busy! Lol, my mind runs away with me!
What made you decide to start up a clothing line?
Erm, We both have been into graffiti art, and putting your tag on a wall for people to notice wasn’t satisfying enough. We felt that a clothing line was an appropriate option to take in which we could get our name out into the wide world!
Have you both always been involved in fashion?
We both haven’t had any involvement in fashion or design. We just knew where we wanted to go. After a lot of research and experimenting with software we now know what were doing fully and have no trouble in creating anything design related.
When did you start TEAMWHYME?
We officially launched January 2008 but a few months before we was just planning out what and where we wanted to take TeamWhyme?
Why the name TEAMWHYME?
Our brand is called WhyMe? We use team a lot to give the customer a sense of being involved. A lot of people know us as TeamWhyme? So we have run with it.
Before we move further, can you briefly give us some brief information about your background?
Me(Stink) and Charlie(CharOne) were neighbours on a council estate in south east London. Both of us are from single parent families. Don’t really know what else to say…
When was your first entrepreneurial experience and how did it go?
Apart from selling my own designs on t-shirts for a year before WhyMe? This has been my first big entrepreneurial experience.
How did you raise capital for your business?
Me and Charlie both saved up for a couple months or so and we invested that money into getting our first batch printed. Sales from that went very well and we continually roll over our profits into creating more magic!
What do you like the most about being an entrepreneur?
I think its not so much power, but more the feeling that you, yourself and only you have created what you have. The bigger and better WhyMe gets will continually grow our ego’s. It’s a nice feeling to have something you have solely created.
Do you have any favourite young entrepreneur at the moment?
Were very much an independent clothing brand and enjoy our brands like ourselves who have built something on their own. Shouts to Ask Your Girl!
Who are your role models/influences?
Influences aren’t anyone/anything specific. Just anything around can influence us. I don’t like the term ‘role model’. We run our business how we like to, no one knows how the next person works, It’s the outcome of that work that matters, no matter who you are!
Who are your target audience?
We aim our clothing at people ages between 13 and 25
Do you have any competitors?
There are a lot of independent brands. A lot fall off, and are not original from the next brand, but yes there are some people who you could say we ‘compete’ against, but independent brands are friendly with each other. Were all on the same grind!
Do you have any books you read that you would like to recommend?
I mainly only read street art/graffiti related books. Subway Art is a must for anyone.
What would have improved in the industry?
Not sure I understand the question
Have you encountered any setbacks so far and how did you resolve it?
We’ve had slight setbacks but nothing that has affected us and needed resolving as such.
What are your tips for any entrepreneur starting up their business?
Focus. Theres nothing better than a clear mind and well thought out business plan.
What’s next for you and TEAMWHYME?
Were currently getting together our autumn/winter collection.
We are also showcasing at “Fashion Galore” on the 25th August 2009 @ Ghost Bar in Farringdon, which is a fashion show/club night where party go-ers are able to check out some fresh garms from up and coming designers and are able to purchase on the nite too.
Thanks for your time.
Interviewed & Edited By Joseph Ajilore