Jesmond students launch fancy dress business
Two Jesmond students have launched an online fancy dress business named Frojo’s, for the bustling student population seeking clothes for themed parties. Ed Banfield, 21, originally from Leeds and Joe Parrish, 22, from Cambridgeshire, have created the Jesmond-based brand which markets itself as selling ‘fancy dress with flair’.
Ed, a computer science graduate of Newcastle University, and Joe, a Northumbria University sports science graduate, launched the website in May and have since enjoyed pleasing sales figures.
“We’ve had a lot of interest since our launch and have around 10 new partners, consisting of smaller and larger companies, leading to deals that have contributed to high volume sales,” Ed tells JesmondLocal.
The partners include the student-based Carnage UK, which organises numerous events each year in over 40 towns and cities nationwide, including Newcastle, and ‘I LOVE TOUR’, a company which markets itself as “organisers of the world’s greatest sports and group tours, festivals and travel for university students.”
With the help of managing director and shareholder Salem Sinawi, the duo, who have worked as part of Newcastle’s events industry alongside their studies for the past three years, see the project as a continuation of this, the money raised from such promotional work helping to fund the brand. There was “a gap in the market for a student-orientated fancy dress business,” Ed insists.
“It’s a very distinguished brand. In Newcastle, if somebody said to you: ‘Where can I buy fancy dress clothing?’, apart from the odd overpriced independent outlet, Frojo’s is the only true fancy dress brand – I feel this is what makes us unique.”
Although Ed tells us that Frojo’s is “predominantly a student brand”, he insists that there are other markets available to the business. Newcastle is a party city, and on occasion crazy costumes contribute to a night out. Pete Smith, regional manager for Nando’s and on the board of directors for Frojo’s, has been appointed the job of promoting to hen and stag parties too.
The pair also have plans to nationalise the brand further. Ed Banfield tells us: “At the moment, Frojo’s is recognised more between Newcastle and Leeds. It would be great to gain further partnerships around the Manchester and Liverpool areas, as well as into the Midlands and the south.”
Ed states that the brand’s success has been down to “the use of contacts through the events industry,” which has led to the establishment of “contractual partnerships with people who already possess years of experience and are leaders in their own sectors.”
With more graduates than ever before in the UK and with dwindling job prospects for many, Frojo’s is a clear example of what graduates can achieve for themselves.
Frojo’s is currently offering 20% discount to all Jesmond residents on online purchases at www.frojos.co.uk with the code FROJOJESMOND, set to expire on July 31st 2013.