Sophie Guy, who graduated with a BA (Hons) Events Management degree this summer, set up GoGuy in 2015 after receiving her first sewing machine for Christmas. Since launching her website on 1 May this year, the brand has become hugely successful and has been worn by celebrities including Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards (pictured above) and Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferrry.
Sophie, who is 22 and from Bailiff Bridge in Brighouse, said: “When I got my sewing machine, I had never used one before and taught myself how to use it through YouTube videos. I’ve always liked wearing different clothes and don’t like having the same outfit as other people, but I like branded clothing. When my dad got lots of pairs of boxers for Christmas that he didn’t need, I thought I could use the branded elastic to make something new to wear for my birthday in January.”
Sophie made a bra and skirt and soon began receiving lots of requests through social media from people wanting to know where they were from and where they could buy them. From this, the idea for GoGuy was born.
Starting with the GoGuy Reworked label, Sophie employed four seamstresses to make the clothing re-using branded products, before investing in her own GoGuy branded elastic and creating new collections, including mesh and tie dye.
The GoGuy website was launched at midnight on May Day bank holiday this year, with Sophie being surprised to receive more than 200 orders by 7am.
She is now set to host a stand at The Clothes Show, from Friday 2 - Tuesday 6 December at the NEC Birmingham.
Sophie said: “I’m very excited about the Clothes Show but also very nervous as it is so overwhelming. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for it. As we only officially launched in May this year, we expected to be in either the start-up or boutique section, however because we have done so well we have been allocated a space in the fashion village, alongside the big brands.”
Speaking about her time at Leeds Beckett University, Sophie added: “Because I do all of the running of the business myself, the finance side of my Events Management course has been very useful. I am having all my furniture and carrier bags, etc, made specially. We also learnt about the use of electricity and lighting at events which has helped me in preparing for The Clothes Show. You literally just get given a space and have to let them know your requirements for light switches and plug sockets; so already having an understanding of this has given me a head start.”
Sophie won a proof of concept grant from Leeds Beckett’s Enterprise and Innovation Academy for Students during her studies. The £500 she won funded the photo shoot used to showcase her products on her website.
Sophie added: “The competition prize was really helpful as I started the business with my last student loan and haven’t received any other financial help. I worked two jobs to continue funding GoGuy so it has been really hard work to get started.”
Next year is set to be a big year for Sophie and GoGuy as a new website, which she originally made herself, is set to be professionally produced and she will be designing a new range ready to re-launch the brand in March 2017. She will have a pop-up stand in Trinity Leeds over the summer months and will be looking to find a permanent base for GoGuy: “At the moment I am working from home,” Sophie explained. “I am also looking to hire people to manage our communications, update the website and look after social media so I hope to have a team and office set up next year.”