Archie Hewlett (22 February 2017)

Archie is an inspiring entrepreneur who told us all about setting up business in the fashion industry and all the ups and downs and everything in between. What is most remarkable is that he is only 22.

After finishing A-levels Archie intended to go to university, but at the last minute he went off on a tangent and decided to set up his very own slip-on shoe brand named Duke and Dexter. After getting a small loan he was able to set up his business and target a market that was willing to pay a fair price for very high quality goods.

He had a few hiccups on the way. He was in fear of over-expanding, but as everything came together he had to trust himself. When the business grew he began outsourcing the fulfilments, but this turned out to be a bad decision and he went back to shipping orders himself.

Duke and Dexter cater for both men’s and women’s shoes. A lot of support they have received has been through their social media following: they have 220,000 Instagram followers.  Customers such as Justin Timberlake, Tinie Tempah, Ryan Reynolds and Eddie Redmayne increase brand publicity.

Duke and Dexter had over £1 million in revenue in 2015. Archie has recently set up his own store in Covent Garden. He offers a nice service where he will send you the shoes to your home destination after you try them on. This is due to the fact that they have a lot of international visitors to his store and carrying them in hand luggage can be a bit much.

Archie has come a long way since opting out of doing his degree. It’s going to be very interesting to see where Duke and Dexter are in five years’ time.

Based on a report by Sebastian Serrudo-Gossner