A young entrepreneur from Coventry has swapped the countryside for the boardroom and now has his sights set on turning a business he runs with his brother into a six-figure e-commerce enterprise.
Reece Frailing studied Countryside Management at Moreton Morrell College — part of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) — and in something of a U-turn in his career is now running his own business selling vinyl skins for mobile phones and other electronic devices.
The 21-year-old set up Vybeskins with his brother Liam, 25, which designs and manufactures ultra-thin vinyl skins in a range of designs that customise the look and feel of a device, as well as protecting it from scratches and scuffs.
They have almost 100 products on sale exclusively online with more planned as part of an ambitious growth plan to create skins for Macbooks, iPads and games consoles.
Reece said: “I love fishing and the outdoors, so when I left school studying Countryside Management was an obvious route for me to take and the idea was to continue that as a job. But after finishing my course the rest didn’t work out as planned and didn’t know what I wanted to do, so sort of fell into engineering and from there went into business with my brother.
“We started selling to friends before progressing to a larger scale, purely online through social media, and now we’re running Facebook ad campaigns, using SEO which accounts for a lot of our business, reaching out to influencers, and recently started writing blogs to boost our profile.
“We’re entirely self-funded and have invested money that we’ve earned during our days jobs to get this off the ground. It’s progressing very nicely and we’re making a profit so long may it continue.
“Our short-term plan is to introduce more product ranges so we can be the first to the scene when a new device comes out, and over the next 2 years we want this to be a six-figure business and go from there.”
Reece, who went to Mount Nod Primary School and Woodlands Academy before studying at WCG, has this advice for current and future students: “My business is not directly related to my studies, but I believe the transferable skills that I learnt from my course have accelerated my journey.
“If you’ve got an idea, and know your market and know your own potential, go for it. Countryside management was something I wanted to do at the time but you never know where you might end up — have goals and aim to achieve them but keep an open mind.”
Emma Williamson, head of careers and information at WCG, said: “It’s great to hear Reece is doing so well with his business and showing the entrepreneurial mindset we aim to instil into all of our students, regardless of which course they choose, to prepare them for an ever-competitive world.
“It’s not just qualifications and knowledge that you need to get ahead, but essential transferable skills to help you on your next steps, whatever they may be, and we look forward to seeing Reece do just that and continue to grow his business.”