2XS & THE PRINCES TRUST
Back in 1989, when Jane and I started our business, 2XS, in a time when interest rates were hovering around 15% – high street banks would not give us a start-up loan without asset security. We had about £500 to our names and borrowed a van from my Dad but had a vision to start a windsurf and mountain bike business at what looked as a terrible time to start a business!
We found out that the Princes Youth Business Trust (PYBT) (now known as The Princes Trust) founded by Prince Charles, now King Charles, offered low interest loans with good terms and threw in for free a Business mentor who would help us navigate our way into running our new business.
Even though the money helped us get started, the real value given by the PYBT was the Mentor, Jacques Chapman who handily lived in West Wittering – he became our unofficial “Chairman of the Board” and helped us steer and build the business through big growth periods in the early ‘90s. Jacques helped us negotiate the purchase of our shop, trademarking of 2XS (along with James Mellor) and giving us sound advice when we were not experienced enough to make crucial decisions.
This culminated for us meeting Prince Charles at a PYBT Awards ceremony at St James Palace where we were national runners up at the Readers Digest Youth Business Awards.
Jacques Chapman became a large part of our lives, he instigated us receiving a lovely letter from Prince Charles on our wedding day and helped us for many years, even after the PYBT Loan had been paid back in full with our business.
We found this great photo of the new King the other day doing a bit of 1980’s windsurfing – and wanted to wish him well on his Coronation Day and just to say “Charles, if you ever fancy giving windsurfing another go – 2XS is the place to come!”