My name’s Jordan Bishop. I am 23 years old, and after I graduated from Cardiff Met I became the founder and owner of my own business, Stridez.
Stridez are a brand-new fit of men’s swim trunks that offer a larger fit around the legs whilst staying true to the waist size.
I founded Stridez due to a personal struggle I had every summer whilst shopping for swim trunks. I’ve always had big legs and would find that none of the trunks I tried would ever fit me properly!
Annoyingly, I would have to shop for a bigger size to get them over my legs, which always meant that the waist would be too big and the shorts would be ill-fitting. Realising no one out there catered for this I took it upon myself to answer the problem, and embarked on the journey that has led me here today.
I studied Sport and Physical Education at Cardiff Met, and if you’d have told the student me that I’d be running my own business at 23 I would’ve laughed in your face and said you’d got the wrong man!
Growing up all I wanted to do was teach physical education. For me being a PE teacher was the dream job – you’re outside all day taking part in the sports that mean so much to you and helping develop the potential next big star of tomorrow. Going through uni, all my time and effort was put into getting the best degree possible to put me in best stead to land a teaching job.
It wasn’t until my second summer after graduation that I decided to start my own business. It’s certainly not an easy thing – you don’t wake up one morning and think ‘Today I’ll start a business’! It was a rather daunting prospect – especially for me, as I self-funded the launch and put everything I had into it!
I put lots of effort and time into researching my market first. – most importantly, was there one?! Who were my potential customers? What do they look like? What are their hobbies? What materials would I need to use? How do I go about making the trunks? For someone like me with absolutely zero business experience, these were some hard questions to answer, and it took a lot of research. Google became my best friend!
Thankfully there is lots of help out there, especially for young people looking to take the first steps into owning their own business.
The Welsh Government runs a program called Big Ideas Wales. They run lots of workshops and host regular networking events, which can be really helpful. Through them I was given a one-to-one business advisor, Chris Howlett, who was instrumental to the launch of my business. The constant impartial and honest advice I received was pivotal to getting myself up and running.
As I’m a Cardiff Met alumni I was also invited to be part of the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, a program I was always aware of during my time at uni but never thought I would be a part of.
The centre has been another reason my business has launched so successfully, and the help they offer is incredible, especially their incubation unit. It houses like-minded entrepreneurs, and can offer invaluable help.
For some people the prospect of getting a business off the ground is just too daunting, but the best advice that I can give is give it a go and give it all you have. I’d rather be thinking ‘I’m glad I did that when I had the opportunity’ than ‘I wish I’d done that while I had the chance’.
Read more stories about what Cardiff Met graduates are up to now in our Life After Uni blogs