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Monday 25 June 2018 ‘I gave up my job and life savings to start my Irish clothing brand’ – Gym+Coffee CEO and co-founder Niall Horgan

Early last year, Niall Horgan helped to create a new clothing brand in Ireland that fit the lifestyle Irish people were leading.

Many of us like to regularly huddle up over a coffee (or chai latte), and we also aware of the importance of exercise for our overall wellbeing. Now we’re adopting a lifestyle where you can socialise doing both.

The ‘plus’ sign in Gym+Coffee signifies that balance we’re striving to reach. Niall Horgan shares a little more with us about his company success – and the state of his wallet.

Spender or Saver?
Somewhere in between! I don’t spend too much regularly but I try not to let money be the reason I don’t do something, so when I spend it’s usually a little impulsive and a little excessive!

Biggest purchase to-date?
My biggest investment to date is spending most of my life-savings to start Gym+Coffee ( along with two friends. We were inspired by the growing lifestyle shift in Ireland becoming more active and health conscious. We had lived abroad ourselves and saw Dublin quickly catching up with places like Vancouver, Melbourne, San Francisco where people use exercise to socialise and the “athleisure” clothing that goes with this lifestyle too.

So we thought there was an opportunity for an Irish brand to promote this lifestyle, represent Ireland and compete with some of these international brands.

After six months we went full-time so it was a risk to invest what I already have, and giving up a job meant I gave up future earnings too.

We’re coming up on 18 months in business and so far it’s been a great decision. It’s been a very emotional journey and we are so proud of what we’ve achieved so far. We’ve hired a small team, we’ve launched in the US and UK, we have a passionately community of followers and everyday we’re learning something new. So as a personal investment it’s been a great success!

Cash or card?
Card, and ideally just a tap. Maybe it’s a bad sign when I’m too impatient for pin codes!!

Three things you couldn’t live without?
My wife, my friends and exercise. I think the most important things in life to make time for are exercising and socialising and ideally combining the two. So I try do as much of these two things as possible.

What would be your largest monthly outgoing?
Apart from a mortgage and bills, I’d be scared to actually calculate how much a month goes on coffee!

Best financial advice?
Time is more valuable than money so value your time! I guess normally financial advice would be to help make money but my advice is around making more time.

Make sure you have a few hours in every day that are not involving work and then try fit something into this time. Meet some friends, go for a run, learn a language. It’s amazing what you can fit in when you get a bit disciplined with your free time too!

My advice would be to get up an hour earlier, it takes a week or two to get into a routine but you can use that extra hour so well and it starts the day on your terms, it’s a proactive kind of way to begin the day.

It’s very cheesy but as a kid I was told that old saying “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and I have to say I’d probably agree with that. Even though it makes me sound 100 years old!

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