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Jack Crofts

With his eight A*s and two As at GSCE Jack could have been well on his way to Oxbridge by now but instead he’s gearing up to corner the luxury fashion market with his business Vicuña Royale.

Jack had always wanted to be his own boss but he hadn’t found the gap in the market he was looking for. But, by chance, while watching a documentary on the Tropic of Capricorn, Jack happened to spot an animal he’d never seen before and it sparked an idea. The animal was a vicuña and after a bit of research Jack released he had stumbled upon the niche he had been looking for.

Jack quickly set about turning his idea into a real life business. Having just started at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Sheffield College, Jack was ideally placed to get things off the ground and just a few short weeks after the start of term he entered his brand new business - Vicuña Royale - into the Edge Challenge. After successful pitches to judging panels in London and Birmingham, with the latter including a live audience, Jack placed second in the competition and won £1250.

It has been just over a year since the Jack’s Edge Challenge final and Vicuña Royale has come on leaps and bounds. Using his prize money, Jack has secured suppliers in South America, manufacturers in the UK and has established his brand with the creation of a logo and website. He has also been able to purchase some vicuña yarn and a high-end sample box, two very important purchases which have enabled him to meet with potential clients and demonstrate just how luxurious his products will be.

More recently he has placed his first order for 4kg of yarn which will be turned into sample products and marks the final step towards launching as a fully functional business. The team has also grown to cope with the ever expanding workload. Jack took on fellow PJEA student, Tom Houseman, who has taken 20% equity in the business and brings with him a sales background. A third team member will join the team in their new Sheffield offices, at the end of January.