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Meet ‘Youngtrepreneur’ Tom Holmes

This week in our ‘Youngtrepreneur’ series we speak to alumnus of Uppingham School, Tom Holmes. Tom founded Tom’s Trunks after a holiday in Kenya where he discovered the irresistible comfy Kenyan kikoy material, which lead him to set up this successful brand.

Moment of inspiration
I was on holiday in Kenya, where I found myself with no shorts. So, I decided to go and buy some on the beach and discovered Kenyan kikoy. After trying them on and wearing them day in day out I discovered how irresistibly comfy they were. Initially these where my only shorts on the holiday so as you can imagine I was wearing them quite a lot and people started calling them Tommy’s Trunks. From that point I bought 20 pairs over to the UK and started selling them to friends.

Describe your brand
Tom’s Trunks creates the most comfortable lounge wear whilst looking after the environment and those that inhabit it. We design and manufacture products that enhance your down time and improve your relaxation. Specialising specifically in trousers and shorts made from 100% natural fibres.

The most important skill you’ve learnt
I have learnt so many great skills along the way and learn something new every day. For me there are two sides of this; knowledge based being web development and digital marketing and behavioural being Organisation.

Importance of sustainable production
This is possibly the most important element of the brand; I believe that this is going to be the biggest challenge our generation face. I also want to prove that being sustainable can improve the bottom line, we have shown this by using off cuts to make bucket hats.

Do most of your sales come via Instagram?
A large proportion come from Instagram however we use other platforms such as Depop, TikTok, YouTube and Physical interaction has a role to play.

Best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Work hard!

High point and low point?
Summer 2019 – surfing with my best friend and now business partner after an amazing day of sales. The low point was opening a shop for it to be shut 30 days later!

Did you start your business whilst still in education?
I started Tom’s Trunks in 2014, whilst I was still at school and personally found it made me focus on getting stuff done. I was not really your perfect student and being dyslexic meant I was also pretty disinterested in school, so Tom’s Trunks gave me a reason to stay focused. I managed my time by using regular reminders and trying to find as many automated processes as possible, but I have to admit it would not have been possible without the help from friends and of course my amazing mother.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
My goal is for Tom’s Trunks to be a globally recognised lounge wear brand.

Who or what company do you aspire to become like?
A combination of Patagonia and Calvin Klein.



Read further features in this series HERE

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