When you spend half the week working at the pub, half the week touring the skate parks, half the week listening to good music, and half the week chilling out with other people, how many more halves of the week are you going to find to become one of Cardiff’s newest fashion entrepreneur’s? In order to find some answers to this conundrum we need to go in search of Sean. He is a member of the Partridge family… let’s say the David Cassidy of South Wales (though he is far too young to realise what an insult that might be).
Despite my credentials in the skating world…
being a cat of sophistication and subtle tastes, I wasn’t sure I would be welcomed at The City Arms, particularly as I would have to sit on the bar to eye-ball my prey. So I sent my own beer-taster along to sample a few pints of the renowned Brains SA and track down this intrepid multi-tasker. I say he is working at the pub, but I’m not sure that is a fair description as Sean seems to be having far too much fun to count it as work, and Chris (the landlord, as well as being Sean’s brother) might also question the accuracy of the description.
An interview seemed out of the question, as Sean is far more interested persuading anyone who comes to the bar to sample the vast array of lotions and potions on sale at any one time… all on personal recommendation of course (nice work if you can get it, so I am told). But he obliged my drinking minion with occasional insights into the mind of a business guru, in between dispensing tankards and goblets of liquid nectar to the baying hoards. So tell us Sean what gave you the idea to branch out into the world of sporting gentleman’s haberdashery?
“Well I just saw this t-shirt with a skating logo on it like, and I thought I can do that! Having fun and making money out of it can’t be that difficult can it.”
So that’s how to break into the impenetrably complex world of big business?
“Well, you just need to keep it simple like… it’s about blading so I thought I would call it ‘The Blade’, keep it sharp and edgy like.”
I know you spend a lot of time listening to good music, well all this skating and business stuff got me thinking about Jethro Tull, but I digress. What were the early challenges you had to overcome?
“I had the name, and some ideas about t-shirts and hats… only good quality stuff, you know. Then it all went mental like… buying stock, designing logos, getting a video made for a website and launch. It started taking up loads of time when I should have been out there skating.”
I can understand the pressures of keeping at the top of your game as well as setting up an iconic new brand at the same time. What advice did David Beckham offer you?
What was the inspiration behind the design of the website, The Blade Clothing?
“I wanted to get something out there to promote the merchandise, but I also wanted to show people that skating is edgy like. Some have said the blog is a bit raunchy, but I just put together edgy images I come across that I like.”
It all sounds a bit of a scary venture to get involved in, how scary would you say it has been for you Sean?
And how big do you anticipate this venture is going to get over the next year?
And how much did you say I would get for endorsing this radical new clothing empire?
It is clear to me that you have the enthusiasm and determination to make a really good go of this adventure. I am also told that you have a friendly personality, engaging with everyone who comes into the pub, which can only be a tremendous asset for breaking into the business world. So how has it all progressed over the last 6 months?
“Well, one minute I am talking to a couple of local outlets to just take a few items to see how they will sell, and the next thing you know I have one of the world’s leading skaters wearing one of my t-shirts, and I am getting phone calls from Poland expressing interest. I don’t know how far this thing can go.”
Well, it seems like it can go at least as far as Poland. Sean, I can’t knock your enthusiasm and effort for getting the whole idea off the ground. I recommend your website and blog to my readers, and I will endorse the products, though I am waiting for the four-legged versions to come out before I wear any of them.
As the Steve Miller Band once said, fly like an eagle, both in your skating and your business venture. I have been Juno, flirting with the FTSE100 until I see you again.