Article by The Game Fair, click here to read the full story.
Starting a business at any time can be daunting but when you are in your final year of university the pressure is even more intense. But Jemima Gray not only made it work, she can’t wait to bring her newly formed company to The Game Fair this summer.
We caught up with her to find out more…
The Game Fair: How and why did the business start?
Jemima: It was very much a ‘why not’ idea that came about whilst I was riding my horse!
At the time I was doing a master’s degree in business management at the Royal Agricultural University and one of our modules involved creating a full business plan for a start-up. It was also lockdown at this point, so it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
I really didn’t have much idea of what I was doing and spent a huge amount of time on google and attempting to create designs on a Word document!
The Game Fair: How’s your first year been?
Jemima: It’s been far beyond all expectations. I’m constantly surprised by the enormous kindness of everyone who supports and is involved with the business.
It’s the best feeling when I see a stranger wearing a product, as well as regular texts from friends saying they’ve spotted a ‘wild’ Cotswold Fox, which always make me laugh!
The last year certainly hasn’t been without its trials though and it’s been such a steep learning curve. However, I do love a challenge and I believe that learning on the job is the most effective, but not always the easiest way of doing things!
The Game Fair: Has Cotswold Fox become your full-time job?
Jemima: Not for now, I’m only 24 and I feel that I have a huge amount to experience and learn elsewhere. I recently started a full-time job at a law firm on their business development and marketing team which I absolutely love.
Variety is so important and the balance I have at the moment really suits me, although there aren’t enough hours in the day!
Luckily, I have an incredible team for Cotswold Fox Clothing, so I have outsourced a couple of roles such as the packing and posting.
The Game Fair: What have been the main challenges you have faced?
Jemima: Getting a new business off the ground without external financial support or any experience was/is my biggest challenge!
The Game Fair: And what about the biggest/most exciting success to date?
Jemima: Hitting 1,000 orders in our first five months was a massive milestone, as well as the unbelievable success of the launch of our Cirencester Quarter Zips. We sold over 100 in the first hour, which was so exciting I had to go to the pub!
The Game Fair: What makes Cotswold Fox Clothing different from other brands out there?
Jemima: My main aim is trying to bridge the gap between quality and affordability, as I often find with brands that one or the other can be compromised.
I believe that we make ‘fun’ pieces that are also functional by combining bright, bold designs with great quality, lasting textiles. I also try and make it really personable, we’re always on the end of DMs and emails and I love showing what goes on behind the scenes.
The Game Fair: What are you most looking forward about attending The Game Fair this summer?
Jemima: I’ve always adored The Game Fair. I remember visiting in 2021 a few months after the start of Cotswold Fox and thinking “I want to have a stand here next year.”
It’s the ultimate place to exhibit for any country brand. I can’t wait to be a part of the show and do several days on the trot. I absolutely love the buzz and atmosphere of a big event!