Enterprising student corners the market with high-end second- hand designer fashion

A business launched by a Northumbria University student as part of his undergraduate studies is expanding rapidly and attracting funding support.

Having just completed his second year on an entrepreneurial degree programme at Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School, Matty Stokoe’s designer clothing business GarmGems has achieved early growth and is expanding.

Students studying entrepreneurial programmes at Northumbria are required to start and run their own businesses from day one. Commercial ideas are developed as a central aspect of the programme and students are encouraged to explore how to manage and grow their businesses independently.

Matty set up GarmGems in October 2020. The business specialises in selling authentic high-quality second hand designer clothing and streetwear to customers all over the world, and has a key aim to promote a more environmentally responsible and sustainable fashion industry. The business achieved a turnover of £57,000 within its first two years and aims to double this within the next 12 months. Matty has also secured three separate rounds of investment from the Willan Charitable Trust during his studies totalling £10,500 to help grow the business.

Commenting on the inspiration behind GarmGems, Matty said: “I have always been interested in designer clothing without ever really being able to afford it, but after spending £200 at a vintage clothing event at Northumbria’s Student Union and storing the clothes in my university bedroom, I quickly realised the market potential for quality authentic second-hand clothing. I slowly worked my way up from selling £5 items to designer wear worth hundreds of pounds, and I now have over 500 items in stock.

“I was also motivated by the fact that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, and by shopping second hand we can help promote sustainability and a more circular economy within fashion.”

Speaking about his decision to study at Northumbria, Matty added: “The tutors are extremely knowledgeable and the whole entrepreneurial programme is designed to support our business from start-up to scaling up and everything in between. It can be difficult to manage running a business alongside a full-time degree, but this only helps grow essential skills such as time-management and working under pressure.”

Kellie Forbes-Simpson, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at Northumbria, said: “We always encourage our students to find something they are passionate about and to work from there, Matty has done just that and is achieving the success he deserves. Along with all our students – and graduates – he has the energy, drive, creativity and innovation to make it as a leading entrepreneur.”

According to the latest report by the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS), Northumbria is the top ranked North East university for graduate start-up businesses based on turnover. In the period 2020 – 2021 the combined turnover for Northumbria graduate businesses exceeded £95 million.

For more information on studying at Newcastle Business School please visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/nbs

News

Luxury Fragrance Expert Releases NEW Coastal-Inspired Kildonan Fragrance

ARRAN Sense of Scotland (formerly Arran Aromatics) has released its first new fragrance range in 10 years; a delicate, velvety scent, inspired by the tranquil, sun-soaked shores of Kildonan in the south of the island.   Heaven Scent – “Sweet and delicate violet warmed with the glow of velvety orris.” With wildflowers swaying in the […]

Read More
Accessories Gifts Interiors News

Mid-Century inspired Christmas Gifts from 20th Century Cloth

Looking for a Christmas gift packed with retro charm and quality craftsmanship? Mid-Century inspired design house 20th Century Cloth has you covered.   Inspired by the interior aesthetics of the 50s and 60s, 20th Century Cloth founder Helen Snell has created eight signature designs which are now available across a selection of gifts. All these designs are […]

Read More
News

Prom dream comes true for Cardiff woman thanks to her rehabilitation team

A service user at Cardiff’s Pinetree Hospital who thought she would never get the chance to wear a prom dress had her dream come true recently, thanks to the staff at the specialist hospital who pulled out all the stops to make her fantasy a reality. Louise, 41, who is receiving specialist rehabilitation support from […]

Read More