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Richard Hurtley

Owner, Lions Rampant, aged 25

Richard Hurtley is the type of young entrepreneur you read about in the newspapers - he started producing and selling fashion-inspired rugby socks to his sporty friends while a student at Exeter University. Indeed, he has already been named as Rising Entrepreneur of the Future by The Spectator magazine.

In 2008, post-university, his business, Lions Rampant, evolved into an etailer, focused on selling sports-heritage casualwear, including rugby and polo shirts, trousers and T-shirts.

Today, Lions Rampant has a 10-strong team at its Leicester headquarters, and - crucially - financial backing from lifestyle brand Joules after Hurtley sold a stake this year. As a result, he plans store openings and continued expansion of the brand’s wholesale base.

Lions Rampant has also acquired a cache of celebrity fans - from pop star Pixie Lott and actress Amanda Holden to rugby players Lewis Moody and Geordan Murphy.

Joules managing director Tom Joule says: “Richard heads up a great team of individuals who all live their core customer’s lifestyle and the sporting endeavours that are true to the brand’s roots.”

Hurtley says: “People said I was stupid to start a business in 2008, and especially stupid to start it in fashion. But I’m immensely proud of the numbers of pairs of socks we managed to sell - and at £18 a pair they are not cheap. People were writing me off - but that just gave me the spur to carry on.”

And carry on he has. Lions Rampant will open its first store in March in southwest England, is relaunching its website with a new look, and is looking to exhibit at Berlin trade show Bread & Butter later in the year.

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