Phoebe Gormley is not your everyday teenager. First, she has been in love with fashion since a young age, making her own clothes from her father’s old suits; second, she spent her summers shadowing world-famous tailors in Savile Row and Jermyn Street. While most people at her age spend summer having a different kind of fun.
She loved spending time seem a piece of fabric becomes something more, something that would make some happy and ready for a special event. Nonetheless, she was disappointed to learn that tailors were not making bespoke clothes for women too. She heard that women “were too hard to please” and that most tailors didn’t like making clothes for them. Recovered from the initial shock, Phoebe had an idea.
In the following days, she crafted a business plan and presented to her parents. It was simple, but not without risks. She wanted to drop of University and use the remaining tuition fees to start her on ladies-only tailor shop. She remembers:
“That was on Friday. By Monday I was down in London working in an incubator in the City and bringing Gormley & Gamble to life.”
Even the mane of hr business had a hint of reality; she called it Gormley & Gamble. Ovisiosly because dropping off costume design curse so close to completing it at Nottingham Trent University was a huge gamble. But she saw an opportunity and grabbed it.
This 22-Year-Old Entrepreneurial Gamble Paid Off
A couple of years on the plan has paid off, the 22-year-old is now established in Savile Row, and doing pretty well. Her business is not just a tailor shop for women, but it is also a way to empower women by showing that there is no limit to what they can do, and despite the hardship women all over the world can thrive too.
She remembers that when she first started, the manufacturer picked up to produce her clothes pulled out at the last minute. She explains that they thought she was too ‘green’ as a young girl and how that was a big blow as she describes below a bit of her experience so far:
“Since then, however, I can only really say that my sex has been an advantage. Other women have been so supportive, and I’ve established an incredible network of mentors and friends. Being female-led company in such a male-dominated industry does also make G&G stand out, which is so important for a small business.
Most clients are just surprised no-one has done it before. Women have such varied body shapes it is amazing that we are all expected to fit into the same off-the-peg sizes.
I’m always overwhelmed by the level of interest customers show in the business – several of my clients now sit on my board of advisors and are integral parts of the company.
I’m lucky enough to dress women from a wide range of backgrounds and careers, and they’ve all helped shape Gormley & Gamble in some way – whether its offering a small tip on growing the business, making a key introduction, or hosting a private shopping evening at their houses.”
Never mind the tumble, they are all lessons learn for Phoebe who last year was named “young star” at the Women of the Future Awards as she continues to grow her business and empower women. She also has some awesome advice for young entrepreneurs out there; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just make sure you do your homework first, have questions and potential solutions at hand and know exactly what you want, so you don’t waste their time and always say thank you!
So if you want a perfect fit dress, or is just a bit curious about how the tailoring process works, you will find very interesting info on G&G website. Otherwise, can also connect via Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook and keep a close eye on Phoebe’s amazing clothes.