Food founder to fashionista: BBC One star launches high-end clothes venture
- Credit: God of Design/Ross Mendham
A Dragons' Den star is channelling the Father, the Son and the entrepreneurial spirit with the launch of his latest venture - named God of Design (GOD).
Ross Mendham, 37, first rose to fame when he appeared on the BBC One show in 2013 to pitch food brand Barenaked Foods.
Now the Cringleford boss has teamed up with his partner Annabelle Weedall to launch a fashion brand which upcycles vintage and designer pieces.
Ross said: "With the world that we're living in we should all be focussing on doing something sustainable.
"It got me to thinking about upcycling clothes that are end of life - like designer handbags that need repairing - I thought we could turn them into affordable high-end clothing."
GOD's items are sourced from charity shops, eBay and markets, whether in Ross' native Norfolk or further afield.
He added: "I love a challenge and love it when things are really against me.
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"That's a time where you can really show what you're made of. I want to prove myself and show other people out there that it can be done."
Ross explained the idea to turn clothing into "wearable pieces of art" came out of the blue at 5am one day.
He added: "It's really been a rollercoaster, it's gone so quickly. We've crammed so much into it.
"I firmly believe that when you're involved in every moment of that process, it gives you a feel for the whole business, and you're not going to fail."
The duo hope to market their products in local independent retailers and the unique items will be available at godofdesign.co.uk on Friday.
In time, the couple will also open their business up for commissions.
Annabelle, 29, added: "Ultimately, we want to get to that point where each person can come to us and say: 'This is what I want'.
"You express yourself through clothing so being able to individualise each clothing piece really gives people a chance to show exactly who they are.
"That for me is such a beautiful thing because that's what connects us all."
Ross' spell on Dragons' Den
At 29 years old Ross appeared on the BBC's prime-time show back in 2013, pitching Barenakedfoods.
His brand, much like his new venture, began life as a grassroots start-up and went from inception to the den in a matter of weeks.
After a turbulent initial pitch which saw him leave the studio Ross was encouraged to come back into the den by dragons Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney.
Peter Jones - the dragon with funds behind successful culinary brands like Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Sauce - was the one that tapped in on Ross' potential.
He invested £60,000 of his own money for a 50pc share in the business.
Although he noted that the taste of Ross' food needed work, the excellent branding and clever business model of Barenaked Foods is what led to the eventual sky-rocketing success of the brand.