James Buckley-Thorp - Rupert and Buckley
James Buckley-Thorp is the founder of the multi-million pound clothing brand, Rupert and Buckley Clothing Co. The brand started when Buckley-Thorp joined the rowing team at the University of Kent. On a mission to unite his team ahead of the collegiate race, he created college colour rowing socks. After the race, other teams and colleges sought collegiate socks from Buckley-Thorp. After completing his degree at the University of Kent, Buckley-Thorp opened a pop-up shop, and raised investment to launch the Rupert and Buckley brand. Over the 5 years that followed, the brand opened several stores across the UK, and partnered with many big names and department stores. In 2016, Buckley-Thorp, exited Rupert and Buckley, after a successful bid to take the brand international and focus on growth in the USA. Now Buckley-Thorp, runs and operates Europes largest dedicated retail entrepreneur network ‘Hive Retail’. The network was launched due to Buckley-Thorps frustration over the lack of support for startup retail entrepreneurs. With a 79% failure rate, the purpose of Hive Retail is to dramatically reduce this in a bid to allow the UK to continue to build and grow global brand names and products. Buckley-Thorp has won several awards including the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 award and the Small Business Advocate of the Year award 2018.