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Five One Nine Clothing

We are always fascinated by local entrepreneurship and recent start-ups. We reached out to Taylor from Five One Nine Clothing, a London company that makes clothes specifically by/for Londoners. All of the members of their exec team are university students in their 20’s and they’ve decided to donate 10% of their proceeds to the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program (FEMAP) at the London Health Science Centre, a service for young adults with recent onset of mood and/or anxiety disorders. We thought that was just awesome, so we wanted to learn more.

Where did the idea to start a London-Specific clothing brand come from?

The idea stemmed from our love of the city and our attachment to London. It is where most of us have grown up and we have had a lot of great experiences here. After talking to some of our friends about the idea, we realized they shared the same feelings and thought it was something that the 519 area could really get behind.

The members of your team are all University students. Has your age been a challenge or an asset (or both) when getting this company off the ground?

It has definitely been a bit of both. While we do have limited time, it has given us the opportunity to learn a lot going through the stages of a business and having it correlate to what we are learning. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a company and how did you work to overcome them?

Some of the biggest challenges have been our lack of experience or knowledge in setting up and running a profitable business. However, we have had a lot of support from our families, as well as people we have met along the way which has been a huge help! 

How do you manage to run a business on top of attending university? What do you do to find balance or to cope during stressful or overwhelming times? 

It is something that we truly enjoy, so putting in the time has not been an issue! Scheduling my time has become a huge priority and has helped me in keeping on top of school and the business. Physical fitness has also become a huge part of my life, which has helped me deal with stressful times, not only physically but also mentally.

Why did you decide to donate part of your proceeds to mental health services? 

I think that mental health affects everyone to some extent, especially people in our age group. We had seen some of our friends struggle with it and from the start it was something that we knew we wanted to get involved in and make our community a better place. When we met with FEMAP and heard that they have wait times of up to nine months, we had to do something to help out, so it wasn’t a very difficult decision. 

Do you have any advice for young people who want to start their own business? 

I think the biggest piece of advice I would have is if you have an idea, just start. As long as you are willing to put in the work, especially with the internet where you can Google almost anything, you can always learn the steps along the way. It has been one of the best learning experiences in my life and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. 

What’s next for Five One Nine?

We would love to get even more involved in raising awareness towards mental health and have set a goal of raising $5,000 by the end of 2019! We also have new collections coming soon. We look forward to getting to work with many other local businesses and people!

Link: Five One Nine Clothing.

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