Young entrepreneur sets up fashion business to celebrate Southsea
WHEN Jacob Thomas came to study in Portsmouth, he fell in love with the city and its people.
While studying politics and international relations at the University of Portsmouth, creative Jacob designed some T-shirts to represent Southsea.
After his designs proved popular with friends and family, and after graduating last year, he decided to follow his dream and set up his own fashion business – Southsea Clothing Company.
Jacob, 22, said: ‘When I came to study at the University of Portsmouth, I felt Southsea was a unique area with a strong identity.
‘Having wanted to start my own business for many years I decided I’d like to start a company which reflected this vibrant area and related to the sea.
‘When I moved here I really did love Portsmouth and decided to stay after university. It’s got a great community feel, like a village in a city.
‘I put the business on hold until I had graduated. Then in December, I launched the company with new designs and ranges, including womenswear, kidswear and expanded menswear range as well as additional accessories.’
Jacob, who still works his full-time manager job at a supermarket, has been growing the business in his spare time - and says he is proud to see it take off.
He has been running a promotion that sees a tree planted for every T-shirt bought and he says his eco-friendly stance has proved popular.
‘All our clothes are organic and produced locally in a renewable energy powered factory on the Isle of Wight,’ he said.
‘This was something that was really important when setting up the business, I wanted it to be sustainable and to have minimal impact on the environment.
‘Recently our range has expanded further to include products made from recycled clothes - we have a recycled beanie, recycled T-shirts and hoodies.
‘In the current climate people are conscious of their impact on the world and of their fashion.’
Now the young entrepreneur, who lives in Southsea, has set his sights on a shop.
He said: ‘As the business grows, I hope to be able to put more time into it and I’d love to open a physical store when the time is right.’