A 17-year-old self-confessed ‘troublemaker’, from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, left school with just one GCSE.
Watch the teen who left school and set up his own business
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Louie Wilkinson has set up a trainer business from his bedroom where he creates painted trainers and sells them for up to £170 a pair.
Louie set up 1CUSTOMS in 2016 when he was 15 and still at school – Philips High School in Whitefield, Greater Manchester. He started buying slider shoes and adding his own designs before selling them to his mates.
He would buy them for about £25 and sell them for £50. He would then invest the money in materials. He was also sharing his designs on Instagram.
He said: “I was sharing some of my designs and artwork on Instagram and then someone messaged me on a selling platform asking if they could buy a pair and it went from there.”
“It was really good because I didn’t like wasting my mum’s money – I liked having my own. I’d say since being at school I’ve made about £20,000.”
“Prices range from £50 with the most expensive pair I’ve sold being £170. If I sell four a month I make about £500.”
He has thousands of followers on Instagram where he showcases his designs. People pick a design and he makes it for them.
Louie, who lives with his parents Kelly Hickman and Eric Wilkinson, even argued with his teachers when they wouldn’t allow him to sell his trainers at school.
He then started selling sweets in the playground and was making £200 a week.
Louie, the self-confessed ‘troublemaker’, said: “I always felt like there was something about me that wasn’t normal and that I was different. I was too hyper and I couldn’t concentrate.”
“Even before I took my GCSEs I thought exams weren’t for me. I wanted to be self-made. I hated school as a whole. I felt like I was always getting into trouble and got blamed for things. I’d end up in detention all the time or isolation.”
“I got a lot of stuff taken off me by the teachers but that didn’t stop me.
When I was put in isolation at school I’d sit there and draw.One of the teachers talked to me about his friend who was an artist and I started to think maybe I could make a living out of it. ”
His parents and even his teachers are now proud of him. They are glad Louie has used his talent of art to start his own business.
Louie’s trainer business is booming and everyone just loves his designs. He has already made £20,000 from his 1CUSTOMS business and he believes he will be a millionaire by the time he’s 30.
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