Working as part of a family suit-making business, Philip Mowat discovered the difficulties one can be faced with when working with siblings, and so was inspired to set up his own business. Armed with tailoring experience, he set up his Tie Club, his own business bespoke tie business, and hasn’t looked back.
The Edinburgh-headquartered business currently designs and manufactures bespoke ties, ladies scarves, bow ties and cufflinks for organisations such as sports clubs and universities.
"My inspiration mainly came from the fact that personally I am very entrepreneurial," explained Philip.
"When I see business opportunities I find it very difficult to ignore them.
"In China I found a place not too far from Shanghai that had incredible factories, making beautiful high quality ties amongst other products. I recognised that there was a gap in the market in the UK for bespoke ties which were high quality."
Tie Club aims to "give a traditional fashion accessory a modern twist", while also giving clubs the opportunity to raise valuable funds through sales.
Philip and the team are currently working at the Entrepreneurial Spark Edinburgh Hatchery, at RBS Gogarburn.
"We are very lucky to be working in the Entrepreneurial Spark Edinburgh Hatchery at RBS Gogarburn; as far as we are concerned, it is the best business accelerator in the world," he said.
Lucy-Rose Walker, co-founder and chief entrepreneuring officer (CEO) at Entrepreneurial Spark, said: "At Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Royal Bank of Scotland we are focused on developing entrepreneurs who have a real #GoDo mindset, and since joining our Edinburgh Hatchery Tie Club has fully embraced the programme and taken on the mindsets and behaviours of an entrepreneurial leader.
"With support from his Enabler, Phil has worked hard to make Tie Club credible, backable and investable, securing partnerships with leading organisations such as Hearts Football Club, Royal Bank of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh.
"With expansion plans on the horizon, and a determination to create a successful and scalable company, I’m looking forward to seeing what Tie Club will achieve over the coming months."
"We receive direct guidance and expertise from the Enablers and those who work at RBS Gogarburn. We also gain a huge amount of support and help from all of the other entrepreneurs in the Hatchery - and in turn, they can also gain from our expertise."
The venture was entirely self-funded, but Philip warns that this path is not for the faint hearted.
"I have spent many a sleepless weekend, with literally nothing in the bank, staff and bills to pay, not knowing where the money is going to come from.
"Eventually, we managed to get cash flow a lot stronger, but my advice would be to constantly keep an eye on it. As you grow, the expenses grow too."
Despite being faced with difficulties along the way, Philip has also experienced many highs. Philip says his biggest achievement was "taking an idea from a piece of paper, and working hard to grow it into a fully functioning, credible, profitable, business."
And although he has put an incredible amount of effort into becoming the head of his own corporation, he doesn’t like being referred to "as a boss".
"I am a leader of a team that I respect and I will never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself," he explains.
"True entrepreneurs will always stick in, learn from others, look to grow their business and constantly be looking for the next opportunity."
With that kind of mindset, it’s no surprise the company is destined for an exciting future, with plans to operate multiple products across a multi-national platform.
"Tie Club will be renowned for going above and beyond to support our clients and truly understand their needs."
However, Philip strongly believes that hard work is necessary for success.
Sharing some advice for budding entrepreneurs, he said: "Never give in. Being an entrepreneur is a tough gig and it’s a roller coaster journey with a lot of ups and downs. However, if you can brush yourself off and get up from the downs, the benefits will eventually come."
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