Two “unemployable” brothers from Liverpool started their own luxury fashion business and have now amassed over 700,000 social media followers.
Ben and Joe Gallagher, of Formby, spotted a gap in the market and took the opportunity to “do something their own way” by starting their own business, Collective luxury fashion, in 2018, when they were only 17 and 22 years old.
The brothers are fashion enthusiasts and noticed that whenever they searched for luxury men’s fashion items, they were spoiled for choice, but this was not the case when it came to concerns options for women.
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Speaking to ECHO, Ben, now 21, said: “We’ve always been entrepreneurial – as kids Joe was selling stuff on eBay, from boxers, car air fresheners, candles, of all kinds; he detected a trend and got down to it.
“Then two months later, me being his younger brother, I would try to keep up with what he was doing but it would come too late.
“I’ve always described us as ‘unemployable’ – we were bad at taking orders from people and we like to do things our way.”
In early 2018, the couple spotted an area where they could succeed in channeling their entrepreneurial side.
Ben continued, “We saw a gap in the market for pre-loved designer clothes for women, as guys we noticed there were loads of men’s Instagram pages that had pre-loved designer clothes. -Loved men, so I went to Joe’s one day, “do you want to start womens fashion? And he said yes and that’s how it started.
“Joe was buying a car at the time so he took out a loan but he had £ 1,000 left and I added £ 200 – I was 17 at the time so I didn’t have a lot of money. money – so we started it with £ 1,200.
“For the first six months we bought eBay and Depop and then cleaned it up in the back room of our house and then advertised it on our Instagram page and for those first six months we would go around Liverpool and delivered the products.
“Looking back now, it’s like the best days – the busiest. It’s fun to look back and see where we’ve come from.”
At the start of the business, the brothers delivered all the orders themselves, often surprising their customers.
Joe, now 26, added: “They were all women and when we went to the women’s houses it was always a nice surprise when we two guys showed up to deliver things. Instagram? ‘”
Ben said: “You could see the shock on their faces.”
The business grew rapidly. Much of their clientele is in Liverpool, but it has also spread across the country. This is in part thanks to their huge TikTok following, where they continue to create educational content on luxury items and sustainable fashion.
Joe said: “I quit my old job in 2019 to work there full time and then locked out, it really started to take off.”
Ben said: “After we came back from the lockdown it really took off – we had moved to a store and people were coming from all over to see us because we have a lot of subscribers on TikTok. Last Christmas we closed the store. to go fully online.
“When we went into containment, we went from 100 articles per month to around 10 articles, so we lost around 90% of our turnover. I wanted to create a community on TikTok and create a clientele. ‘re up to 700k followers.
“TikTok is not a sales platform, it is a way to interact with the community and your followers. We posted three to five times a day for eight consecutive months and that’s how we developed the following. It was the lockdown, we didn’t have anything else to do and people found value in it. We’re still trying to post three times a day now, so it’s still consistent, but we’re a lot busier with the business now. “
They also have over 139,000 followers on Instagram.
The brothers have a staff of 10, largely made up of Gen Z employees – similar to their community of buyers and sellers.
Ben continued, “This time last year it was just me and Joe. This year we have about 10 people working for us – six full time and then four coming a few times a week. Next year. , we hope to double our staff just with the large number of orders we receive.
“We want to expand into other areas like jewelry and maybe men’s fashion. We want to be the biggest in Europe in five years.”
Joe added: “When we started our main audience was Liverpool, but now it’s London, Manchester, Glasgow – people want to come see us, especially after interacting with us on TikTok.
“We can see the growth so we have to keep going and keep going and hopefully by next year we will be the UK’s biggest designer womenswear direct to consumers direct.”
You can follow Luxe Collective on Instagram here.
If you want to sell a luxury item to the company, all you need to do is visit the website and fill out a form with the item details. The brothers will contact you within 48 hours with a quote. If you accept the quote, you will be prompted to send the item. Sellers get paid as soon as items have been authenticated and quality checked, which is usually the same day.
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