- “Queer Eye” star and founder of fashion brand Kingdom & State Tan France says spending frugally and being his company’s only employee for two years helped him build his business.
- By not hiring employees when he could have, he saved on payroll costs and opted to spend money in ways that would grow his business instead.
- France says his frugality extends from his business choices to his everyday life.
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The style guru of Netflix’s hit show “Queer Eye” is known for more than just his signature French tuck – he’s also an entrepreneur. Tan France founded clothing brand Kingdom & State in the UK in 2011, at 26 years old, and moved it to the US in 2013. Now, the brand is available in three countries around the world.
France credits the quick growth of his business to two key financial decisions: He decided not to hire any employees for the first two years, and he was extremely frugal with his spending. “I spent my money in a way that I knew was going to benefit my business, where I’m not spending extra money,” he tells Business Insider, speaking in partnership with TransferWise. “I was always hyper aware of what my bank balance was and where every penny was going.”
He chose to be his only employee as a way to keep costs low. “The majority of the businesses out there that fail, new businesses, it’s because their expenses are so high,” France says. “One of those major expenses is your payroll.”
So, he chose to avoid hiring anyone until his business was well-established. “I learned everything I could about my business beforehand. Instead of hiring a bunch of people and paying a load of payroll, I was the only employee for my first two years,” he says.
And it paid off. His clothing and swimwear brand has been in business for eight years now and ships all over the US, Canada, and Australia.
When he did finally decide to hire employees, the process was easy. “I was able to make sure they were as productive as possible, because I knew what it took to make that job work,” says France.
“The best thing I spent money on was my business…that’s what got me to where I am today,” says France. “It’s not a splurge, it’s not a pair of shoes, or a bag. That kind of stuff is maybe fun for a moment, but they’re not the things that I look back on thinking, ‘Thank god I purchased that.'”
- Read more:
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