Lewis Morgan, 28, and his friend Ben Francis, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, set up Gymshark when they were at university, working from their parents’ houses. He tells Mirror Online about his incredible journey and how he’s got to where he is
Nine years ago, Lewis Morgan was working two jobs – scrubbing dirty dishes as a pot wash and selling mens clothes in the high street chain Burton.
Less than a decade later he’s worth a staggering Â£125m and is in the process of building his own Â£1.5m house.
He’s set up, run and sold the hugely popular gym wear brand Gymshark with his best mate, as well as a number of other successful businesses, and has recently launched a popular podcast with the hope of inspiring other young entrepreneurs.
But the thing he’s most proud of? Being able to look after his mum and three sisters.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Lewis explains that he and Ben started their business shortly after starting university.
Both big gym-goers, they were frustrated that they weren’t able to get certain bits of equipment and sportswear in the UK, so looked into selling it themselves.
« People wanted to go to university and go out and drink. We wanted to go to university and make money on the side doing whatever we could.
Despite giving up the traditional university experience in order to build their dream, Lewis has no regrets.
« You only feel you’ve missed out if you’re doing something you don’t want to do, and we were doing what we wanted to do. »
« Then it just dawned on me that I was a loser. I knew I needed the grades. »
So he got his head down and studied, earning myself a place on a business management course at the University of Worcester.
However during his time there he was more interested in the business, and skipped lectures in order to deal with the growing workload.
After their first year, both Lewis and Ben decided to quit and focus on Gymshark full time – and their risk paid off.
« It was four years of mayhem. We were super busy and it was super exciting. It was a huge learning curve.
Lewis and Ben knew that their youth and lack of experience might put people off their company and their product, so they made a conscious effort to make sure everything looked professional and expert.
« A company is just a face. When you’re in a growing company things don’t always go smoothly, but you have to hide that.
« We learnt to be curious and always ask questions. Questions lead to answers, which lead to learning things. »
In 2016, Lewis decided to take a step back from the company but remained a shareholder, and in August this year he sold his remaining stakes for Â£100million.
He now owns a successful fashion label,Â Maniere De Voir, with business partner Reece Wabara, which is set to turnover Â£20million, and is setting his sights on the property market.
« You get to a point where money isn’t everything. I just wanted to enjoy my life. »
« When we first started we never thought we would be where we are but every year we knew we were bigger and bigger. »
But Lewis knows their success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his and Ben’s families, who have been there every step of the way.
Speaking about his mum Kim, he said: « She’s been amazingly supportive. Not once has she told us to stop. She’s never told us we couldn’t do anything.
« We used her house as a printing room and a stock room, and that’s the same for Ben’s family.
Another thing Lewis is passionate about is telling his story with the hope of inspiring other people to achieve their goals.
He’s set up the The Lewis Morgan Podcast, on which he interviews other successful people to share stories and tips for making it big.
His big plan for the future is to start an investment fund, with the goal of offering up to Â£50million to start-ups to help others fulfil their dream.
« Our story is incredible. I want to share my journey and everything I’ve learnt on the way. »
Actu monde – CA – ‘I’m worth Â£125m at 28 – but I’m just proud I can look after my mum’