Student Alex Broadley has success in his pocket after launching a wallets company.
With more and more customers using cards and not cash, Alex explored the idea of producing miniature leather carriers after visiting a London trade fair with his father.
It was there that Small Wallets Ltd was born, and the three ranges - Secrid, Double OO and Grid - are already proving very popular.
The 19 year-old, currently studying Entrepreneurship at Falmouth University, is the latest in a long line of Broadleys to pursue a career in retail.
Their clothing and footwear store has been a mainstay in historic East Grinstead since 1896, and Alex wants this new venture to become a best-selling line for the firm.
“Like a lot of retailers we found that less and less people are carrying cash, so the old fashioned wallets are no longer a necessity,” said Alex, who has just completed his first year at the University.
“Customers would ask us for smaller, slimmer wallets with protection against RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and eventually I decided this could be quite a lucrative direction to follow.”
He added: “At Falmouth we are encouraged to develop our own businesses - and I’ve always been entrepreneurial - so it was a simple decision to make.
“Since launching earlier this year the response has been amazing, I’ve been inundated with orders online and in-store.
“I started out and the next thing I knew I was packing and sending more than 20 wallets a day and runnng out of stock!”
Alex is also working on designs of his own with a view to manufacturing and running Small Wallets as a standalone entity.
“Having my own brand is a dream really, I have total freedom to develop it into something completely unique,” he said.
“I am already looking at designs and being completely independent, but for now to be working alongside my family and under such an established name is of benefit to me - I’m incredibly grateful for that.”
Alex’s first foray into business came in 2009, at just 10 years old, when he designed and crafted cushions to sell and make money for Children in Need.
He later went on to do the same for Help for Heroes, raising more than £800, and incredibly his first company Neck Cushions Ltd was born.
“From a young age I have always had a passion to run my own business, watching my father has really inspired me,” he added.
“That and the support I’ve received at Falmouth Business School have grown my confidence and shown me this is where my future belongs.”
Professor Chris Jones, director of Falmouth Business School, is in agreement: “Alex is one of the best examples of a young entrepreneur I’ve ever seen.”
“He has great ideas and is tenacious enough to follow them through to market; that’s a huge attribute and we wish him every success with the business, and the rest of his degree.”