YoungOnes to One Direction

One DirectionA YOUNG entrepreneur from Hale has secured investment for his clothing brand after appearing on hit television show Dragons’ Den.

Chris Rea, 21, who attended Bowdon C of E and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, started selling onesies while at the University of Exeter in 2011 and received financial backing from notorious Dragon Duncan Bannatyne.

Chris, along with co-founder Tom Carson, 22, wowed the panel of millionaires on the BBC show, that aired on Sunday, having built up their YoungOnes brand.

The pair have developed their business selling comfy all-in-one suits and now turn over £120,000 a year by supplying their product to over 20 universities in the UK and Ireland – as well as Harvard in the United States.

Chris and Tom – with the help of Duncan – are hoping to drive the business to becoming one of the top clothing brands for young people.

Chris told Messenger: “It was a surreal experience being in the Den and was extremely nerve wracking.

“I’ve watched the show for years, so to appear on it was a dream come true. The 40 per cent equity was more than we intended to give away but I think this is exactly what we need to give YoungOnes a kick-start.

“It gives Tom and I the confidence to go full-time with the business.”

Both youngsters also had to balance their impressive business commitments with their fledgling international hockey careers.

Chris recently played for the United States of America at the Panam Games in Toronto and Tom represented England at the European Championships in August and is vying for an Olympics selection in Rio de Janeiro.

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