Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Christian Lewis-Pratt. After I schooled I jumped straight into a career in professional rugby. I currently play my rugby for England 7s and with my brother I have launched Mytees this year!
How did Mytees start?
The idea of Mytees surfaced over a year ago whilst on holiday in Portugal with my brother. We are both naturally very interested in fashion and were simply talking about pipeline dreams. We came to a couple of conclusions surrounding our fashion and what we both like to wear. 1. We both have 2/3 ‘go to’ tees in our wardrobe. These are the tees that if we wanted to look good and feel confident, we would naturally put on. 2. We choose these tees because of they way they fit; tight where you want them, loose where you don’t. 3. These tees were limited in design. Mainly plain with a few simple touches that made the tee pop.
What’s the idea behind Mytees?
We both wanted to start wearing something a little more expressive, but whilst maintaining the core values of a ‘go to’ tee. The concept we developed is designed to allow any wearer to put on a tee and make a personal metaphorical statement, whilst wearing a simple piece of clothing. The personal possessive value of the word ‘my’ does that.
How is it juggling a sporting career and Mytees?
Thus far it hasn’t been too much of a problem. Running the company with my brother, who works different hours to me, means we can juggle the load easily. However with the growth of the company we are having to be more and more organized. I guess if mytees was my primary focus, the companies growth may be faster, but I am learning to effectively work at the two.
Describe your daily routine
I am in training camp Monday-Wednesday, where I stay in a hotel in Teddington and train from 2/3 times a day, alongside team meetings and various other activites. Friday and Saturday I train mainly in my own time, using the facilities available to me at Twickenham Stadium. It is outside of camp that I can put more focus on the development of Mytees.
What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
Develop a solid idea. Build a well structured plan before going through with anything. Think about how you want to be seen as a company. Where you see your business going. And most importantly, have faith that you will be successful…….im still holding huge faith in my business, start small but aim big!
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve come up against starting a business?
Neither me or my brother have ever studied business, or worked in the area. We have had a couple of naïve moments that have cost us at times. Money! We are a self-funded company, and the only funds we have to work with is the money made on sales. That’s difficult to do with all the start up costs of a new company!
What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for the company?
Mmmmmm, haven’t really had to make huge sacrifices yet. Hopefully have that to come. The amount of money I’ve spent probably!
How would you describe mytees style in 3 words?
Clean Street Wear
What’s your finest rugby moment? Your finest business moment?
Rugby; At the Wellington, New Zealand 7s, hearing 40,000 people sing Wonderwall after scoring a try v Samoa. Crazy cool moment. Gave me chills.
Business; first time someone that I don’t know bought a tee shirt that I designed.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years
What’s your favourite app?
Im a Blackberry man.
Best invention of the 21st century?
Social media – fbook, twitter etc
What your most prized clothing item? Or antem you couldn’t live without?
So hard! My entire shoe collection.
What’s the future of the brand – where would you like to see it next?
Expand the brand. Get our new line in, and start selling in shops.
Any last words?
The dream is to have a ‘mystore’, selling all branches of clothing and other ideas that I don’t want to reveal!