A young businessman from Cardiff has launched a range of swimming shorts specifically for men with large thighs and regular sized waists.
Jordan Bishop, 23, a rugby and children’s sports coach, developed the idea behind Stridez when shopping for swimming trunks for a holiday. But due to the limited choice available in stores and online for men his shape and size, Jordan was forced to buy large, ill-fitting shorts that would fit over his legs but were far too big around the waist.
Concluding that he couldn’t be the only person out there struggling to find a pair of shorts to fit their size, Jordan ran a survey which he shared on social media, throughout his gym and with his fellow rugby players, the results of which overwhelmingly corroborated his personal experiences.
After a year in development, last month Stridez launched as an online shop and is also being stocked in three locations in south Wales including 7 Clothing on Wellfield Road and Ion gyms in both Cardiff and Neath.
Since beginning trading Jordan has received great feedback from Cardiff Blues players Seb Davies, Josh Navidi and Lloyd Williams who were all gifted with a pair of Stridez shorts.
Stridez stocks three sizes of trunks – small, medium and large, and is currently available in three colours – pale blue, pink and black.
“I struggled for years to find shorts that fit me properly and eventually decided to take it upon myself to come up with the solution. As a nation of rugby players there are a lot of guys out there like me who have big thighs but leaner waists and we’re not being catered for by the fashion industry at large.
“I think I have found a real gap in the market and hope Stridez benefits other men who have been experiencing the same issue. The positive response so far has been incredible.”
Jordan launched Stridez with the support of Big Ideas Wales, part of the Business Wales service to encourage youth entrepreneurship in Wales. Big Ideas Wales is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.
With no business experience behind him, Jordan contacted Chris Howlett business advisor at Big Ideas Wales, who has supported him throughout the development of his business, offering advice on everything from business planning, working with designers and marketing Stridez.
What’s more Jordan took part in a Big Ideas Wales Bootcamp to Business event which is a bi-annual stimulating 3 day residential boot camp for young people looking to start a business, providing guidance on all the business essentials along with the opportunity to make connections with like minded people.
Following Chris’ advice, Jordan met with freelance fashion designer Alexandra Wall who worked with him to create the pattern and colour schemes for the shorts which Jordan manufactures overseas.
“Without the guidance of Chris and the team at Big Ideas Wales, I wouldn’t have had much idea how to make my business idea a reality. I have virtually no business experience so I’m learning all the time. But I have loved the process so far, from working with designers to negotiating with distributors.”
Jordan has big aspirations for Stridez and hopes to expand his product line to incorporate jeans, chinos, chino shorts and jogging trousers, as well as developing new colour ranges for his existing products.
Alongside pursuing his business dreams, Jordan has three other jobs keeping him very busy, including working as a teaching assistant and rugby coach at Glantaf High School, a children’s sports instructor at David Lloyd and a pitch steward at Principality Stadium during rugby season.
He said: “When I started at Cardiff Met University studying Sport, I had every intention to become a PE teacher eventually. But since coming up with the idea behind Stridez, I would love it if this venture could become my full-time job as it’s a real passion of mine. Two years ago, I never would have expected to be running my own business, but now I am here and enjoying every moment.”
Chris Howlett from Big Ideas Wales, who supported Jordan through his journey to launching Stridez, said of the businessman: “Jordan is a perfect example of a hardworking, focussed young person who has every chance of making a success of their business idea. It’s been a pleasure working with him to this point and we’re confident Jordan’s determination will pay off.”