304 Clothing was set up by three friends who all met at University of Liverpool back in 2012. The idea was to find something that would fill their evenings & keep them entertained while working the usual 9-5 after completing their degrees.

Little did they know or expect that they would create 304 the brand. David studied Architecture at Liverpool & wanted to find something that would allow him to continue to create and design with the freedom you had at University instead of the 9-5 job constraints. This lead to hours every evening just searching Tumblr, looking for 'cool' places to visit and even 'cooler' clothing to wear on their trips. When you couple this with Sean's idea to start buying clothing from TKMaxx which was just around the corner from the flat they lived in 'Apartment 304' you may have been able to put the pieces together that a clothing brand was going to be born.

The lads then decided to buy some vests from H&M at the Trafford centre & using hand made stencils, cut out letters made of felt to create slogans, to then iron onto the vests. With 3 vests made they hung them up on the walls of the apartment to make the flat look 'cool' ready for their party, the pre and post Parklike party for their friends. 

Fast forwarding to after the festival, the lads had realised there was a slight demand for these unique vests, friends had asked them to make them one for their next festival & further to that the vests that hung on the wall had been stolen from the apartment and the lads saw the culprits the next day wearing them at Parklike. Not taking offence, the lads just thought it was mad that people would be that keen to have one of the vests that they would take them from the wall and wear them the next day, it was sort of a light bulb moment for the lads.

Not content with the 9-5 working hours or the pay that went with it, the lads decided it was time to start the hustle, working from 6PM-1AM every evening making vests and selling them on a Facebook shop became the norm for them. Driving to the Trafford centre every evening to empty the shop of vests was becoming an issue as the shop didn't stock enough, so the lads added sweaters (Again from H&M) and then added Hoodies and before they knew it, they had 15/20 different styles on a Facebook shop selling 10 products a day, not not only to friends but to random people online.

The lads had an idea that was bubbling, but they were also just into full time jobs as a Doctor and Architect and trying to juggle these and having a social life was proving hard work & extremely hard to scale the brand. It was at this point, that social media & Instagram in particular was born & the lads created their first ever website on WIX. They made it them selves, met up with payment providers in a local pub & they were beyond excited that they now had a full functioning website, but waiting for the first sale was a lengthy process. Even back then trying to make a customer leave Facebook where they saw the product and go to a website was new territory to the lads and they had no idea how to push these people to the website to buy 'officially' without dropping off in the buying process.

The first sale came late one night and the lads went out to celebrate, they had made it. lol. When customers started to send the lads pictures of them wearing their vests on their holidays, it was just a natural decision to post them on their social media pages as they couldn't afford to do a photoshoot and didn't have the time to do one with their day jobs. The customers got excited by being reposted on a 'Brands' page and would show and send to all their friends, this was a time where organic social media was HUGE and Influencers weren't really a thing or at least they didn't know they the Influence they had.

The next decision was to create clothing quicker and at mass. Making 3/4 vests a night was not going to allow the lads to make the money they wanted to from the brand at the time, so they invested their wages in creating samples on a 'We Make T-Shirts' website, the clothing was over priced, awful & the lads were beyond disappointed, it was just printed T-Shirt on Fruit of the Loom product. A this time the lads had no idea that you could even buy unbranded off the shelf product at bulk or that this was a feasible option. Evenings researching, led the lads to buying American Apparel blank clothing and driving them into the centre of Manchester on every lunch break to get them printed rather than the hand made felt letters.

With Sean maxing out credit cards to now buy stock in bulk rather than buying what we had sold in the local H&M, had turned what was a hobby in the evening into a real financial investment and gave the lads a real determination to grow this into something. What that something was they had no idea just yet.

Now buying 100 Vests at a time and printing the same design 25 times to reduce the cost price was a scary thought for the lads, but when Danielle Peazer who was dating Liam Payne from 1 Direction at the time wore one of the lads vests on the X Factor and tweeted Thank you to her 1 Million followers on Twitter, the lads Twitter exploded and so too did sales. This was quickly followed up by The Twins DJ's in Australia wearing their 'WE ALL MAKE MIXTAPES' vests and again another sell out happened over night, the power and influence these people had on social media was incredible & at the time it was all free.

Inthefrow, Sarah Ashcroft, Negin Mirsalehi & Lydia Millen were next in line to wear the brand and their social media exploded quickly & the lads then knew they had created something that there was a huge demand for....