It’s never easy to start your own business, and it’s even harder to launch one at the height of a recession. But as one Birmingham entrepreneur shows, with a lot of blood sweat and tears, you can be successful. At just 25 Benjamin Vaughan is one of the countries youngest tailor’s having recently launched Benjamin’s Bespoke Shirt Makers and Tailors. Area caught up with Birmingham’s own “Benjamin Button” to find out more about his plans to become a tailor made success.
I was never interested in studying textiles at college. The thought of doing a fashion degree never crossed my mind. But by the age of 20 I was already running a telemarketing and website business and being my own boss was something I thought would be a challenge and more rewarding than working for someone else. I met many people during the next couple of years and found myself working part time around my own business for some extra cash. I worked at some of the leading fashion outlets in Birmingham and later in Manchester. Before I knew it, I had become a manager at the infamous Frank Rostron Tailors, a tailor that taught me lots about textiles and fabrics, bespoke couture, but also about people and how to deliver second to none customer service. I owe Frank so much for those early days.
I don’t believe in a hard sell. When a customer walks through the door, I give them the complete freedom to walk around the boutique, allowing them time to look at some fabrics, off the peg shirts, master model inspirations such as finished pieces, handmade ties etc. Perhaps I’ll make them a coffee but I never pressure anyone – that’s my first rule. The art of tailoring is all about making a product for someone that reflects their individual style or personality so I try to listen to them, gain an understanding of what makes them tick, and what kind of product they may be looking for.
Having a shop in town has perks, the passing trade being a huge benefit of course. But I starting this business at the height of a recession and by chance, perhaps fate, a shop with good rates became available so I jumped at the chance, and haven’t looked back since.
Birmingham is a hidden gem of a city. There is so much to do whether you’re into music; the arts, theatre, restaurants, bars and we have some of the best nightlife in the UK.
Benjamin’s Bespoke Shirt makers & Tailors Ltd., 21a York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham
0845 257 9690