Four and a half years ago, we launched Ledbury out of the second-story of a converted tobacco warehouse in Richmond, VA. It was at the height of the recession, and our Co-founders Paul Trible and Paul Watson had just graduated from Oxford with MBAs. When the major banks began to collapse, the two decided to shift gears from their expected careers in finance and turned to shirtmaking. Ledbury was an opportunity to follow passion.
Like all start-ups, Trible and Watson played many roles in the beginning – customer service, designers, warehouse managers, marketing directors, all while fulfilling duties as business owners. Throughout the last four years, the team of two Pauls eventually grew into a team of 23. Still operating out of a converted tobacco warehouse in Richmond, our team is incredibly passionate about rallying around the best menswear products available on the market today.
Before our business launched, a small group of Paul and Paul’s closest friends stepped in and invested in our business, helping to make the dream of Ledbury a reality. Since then, Ledbury has taken huge strides, doubling in size year over year. We’re extremely grateful for those early investors, and now that we’re a bit more established, we want to help make someone else’s dream a reality. We’re pleased to announce the Ledbury Launch Project, which will award one deserving entrepreneur with $25,000 to help jumpstart their consumer goods business, as well as offer mentorship from Paul and Paul during the upcoming year.
We’ve taken strides in working and collaborating with local makers-and-doers since our very beginning. When we made our first venture into accessories, cufflinks and belts, we collaborated with a couple of Virginia craftsmen and artisans to produce them. Many of our early photoshoots were shot on location with small business owners – Rappahannock River Oysters, Classified Moto and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery to name a few. We also took this method on the road when we visited Nashville and Charleston last year, profiling the small business owners, creatives and restaurateurs who are building their respective cities in a meaningful way. We always leave these meetings with entrepreneurs feeling inspired and honored to be a part of this community of makers. The entrepreneurial spirit is something that runs through our company, and it truly resonates with us when we find this in other businesses as well.
If you have a strong business plan that shares our values of quality, craftsmanship, and ingenuity, complete an application before May 25. Our selection committee will narrow the applicants to three finalists. We will then turn to you, fellow Ledbury supporters, to vote on the winning business.
We construct shirts that prepare you for business; with the Ledbury Launch Project, we’re taking that one step further.
May 6 – May 25: Call for applications
May 26 – June 15: Panelists select finalists
June 16: Finalists announced
June 16 – June 23: Public voting
June 24: Winner announced
For more information and to apply, visit ledbury.com/launch.