The founders of the high-end local men’s shirt brand Ledbury will be moving their operations to a bigger showroom on South 14th Street in September.
They’ve housed their $120 shirts in a 1,800-square-foot showroom on East Cary Street for the past two years, but they’re ready for a change.
“Our inventory was getting more crowded,” Trible said. “The new place allows us to expand.”
Sales have tripled for Ledbury since last year, so about two months ago Watson and Trible started looking for a new place to hold their swanky shirts.
“We wanted to stay downtown,” Trible said. “It’s a great place to grow and stay close to our customers.”
They looked at Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, and Jackson Ward before deciding to settle in a 2,500-square-foot space next to the LaDifference building at 109 S. 14th St.
The entrepreneurs are also taking a new approach to how they sell their shirts.
Once they get into their new digs, they will start taking appointments during the week and host an open house one Friday a month. The company was used to taking walk-ins and wanted to be more prepared.
For the Friday events, Ledbury will team up with other Richmond businesses to showcase their products along with Ledbury’s shirts.
They’ve already locked down the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery to bring the beverages for their first Friday event.
Hardywood had partnered with the Ledbury gents for a couple of beer tastings in the past.
“Paul [Watson] is a good friend of Eric McKay, the founder, and we’ve been trading shirts for beers for a while now,” Trible said.
The two are also looking to partner with local startup CarLotz and LaDifference for future events.
Trible said the expansion is fueled by a growing customer base.
“I think it’s the great word of mouth and the quality of our product,” he said. “Also the way we distribute it. Coupling those things has led to a great customer response.”
Trible said Ledbury is three times ahead in sales from where they were last year and that about 98 percent of the business still comes from online.
He said New York, Atlanta, Houston, and Richmond are among the bigger markets. Ledbury has about 3,000 clients with 30 to 40 Richmond customers coming in on a regular basis.
About 30 percent of the company’s business comes from repeat customers, and Trible said he expects to expand beyond that once they get into the new place.
“It’s heading in the right direction,” he said.
“We’ll use our online platform to collaborate with other Virginia brands,” Trible said.
The company will also introduce a new shirt each week in small quantities.
Watson and Trible will bring on one or two new employees to their staff of seven after the move in September.