Jarrad Morris - JME/Uni'd Clothing
Cardiff University student Jarrad Morris is currently taking multi-tasking to extremes – juggling his Business degree with not one but two clothing businesses.
“JME Clothing initially started off supplying the University market with society hoodies, and it now provides mainly uniforms for care homes in the private sector”, Jarrad explains. “We’ve started another company quite recently called Uni’d Clothing, which is more specialised towards the University market. We’ve launched a new e-commerce website which allows societies to design everything online, from start to finish.”
Jarrad admits that he has always had an interest in business. “In primary school I was buying and selling the in-trends at the time to sell to my fellow students. Then when I moved on to comprehensive school it was little things like sweet stores”, Jarrad explains. “When I was 14 or 15 I did a bit of import/export with a few little things. When I went on to Further Education College in Neath I launched Student Bits, a student magazine with a readership of 15,500. And alongside that I launched a range of hoodies because the college didn’t have any at the time. Then when I came to Cardiff, I started JME.”
Though it might be unusual for a 19 year old to already have so much business experience under his belt, it seems as though business is in his blood. “My parents and grandparents are all entrepreneurs, so it’s in the family”, Jarrad explains. “They try to give me advice, but it’s not always good advice!”
Although his businesses have only been trading since 2009, Jarrad feels that he has achieved a lot already. “My biggest achievement has probably been starting JME up on such a big scale. Last year I went to China with the British Embassy, as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Everyone that went, I offered them a hoodie and polo shirt. That meant that I sold about 250 garments in a week.” Jarrad admits that this was a crash course in business. “We were meeting with the Chinese Trade Council to encourage trade between the UK and China. One of Ex-prime minister, Tony Blair’s, senior advisors was there, and it was all police escorts and five star hotels. It helped me to build up a few links with China.”
Despite being in business since primary school, Jarrad admits that age is still his biggest challenge. “It’s not too bad over the phone”, Jarrad explains. “But if you’re going to a meeting with someone and you’re trying to negotiate a large order, you walk in and they think ‘this guy’s only 19 – he doesn’t know what he’s talking about’, whereas it sounds arrogant but most of the time I probably know more than they do about the meeting topic".
If Jarrad has learnt anything from juggling studies with business, it’s the importance of striking the right work-life balance. “Obviously people will always say you have to work hard, but I do think there’s such thing as working too hard”, Jarrad explains. “I’ve found that quite a few times, especially starting a new company. I was working 18 hour days, and you just get to a point where you burn out. You need to manage your workload, and delegate if possible.”
Whilst starting up his businesses, Jarrad took advantage of Student Enterprise’s services by utilising the Centerprise office space, as well as applying for the Santander Bursary and winning £1000. “If I had any questions I’d literally just drop Student Enterprise an email and they’d be there to answer the questions”, Jarrad adds. “That’s been really helpful.”
Despite everything currently on his plate, Jarrad is showing no signs of stopping. He explains, “We always see opportunities in the student market along the way. Everything we see, we want to try and take advantage of”.
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