Just Swing Golf aims to improve style on the links
Young entrepreneur saw no reason to wait to start his own company
Nineteen-year-old Gareth Lewis saw an opportunity to launch a company connected to the sport he loves, and a personal loss convinced him not to wait to grab the opportunity.
Lewis is the owner of Just Swing Golf, a clothing company aimed at golfers who want to look good while out on the back nine.
"A lot of the golf clothing that's out there right now is very baggy and not as stylish," Lewis told CBC Island Morning host Matt Rainnie.
"You could wear it to the golf course but couldn't really wear it to a nice dinner or anything like that. I was going for more of a sharp-looking, fitted shirt."
Lewis found a supplier who could make the kind of shirts he was looking for and sketched out a logo which a professional designer cleaned up for him — and he was in business. The clothing is available on his web site and at the pro-shop of a golf course in his home town of Saint John, N.B.
He was able to pay the start-up costs himself, with $6,500 saved from summer jobs, and a $500 scholarship from Charlottetown's Holland College, where Lewis is studying golf course management.
Working through grief
Lewis has an entrepreneurial bent. Owning his own business was always part of the plan, and when his father died last summer, he decided he couldn't wait any longer.
I knew some people and I knew I could get it out there.— Gareth Lewis
"You've got to live in the moment," he said. "Life can be cut short sometimes."
Keeping busy was also a way of dealing with the loss.
Lewis has had some help from friends with marketing the gear. Nathan Beaulieu of the Montreal Canadians is wearing it, as are three members of the Holland College golf team, all academic all-Canadians.
"I knew some people and I knew I could get it out there," he said.
"I used those connections to get a good start on it."
The business is just getting started. Lewis has had some success selling toques and ball caps over the winter, and he expects shirt sales to pick up as the golf season returns.
Next up will be expanding the line of clothing into jackets and shorts, and, hopefully, more retail placements.
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with files from Pat Martel