Founded by Frankie in Hackney, East London
Kris, ex‑Amazonian, joins as COO
Sold to SellerX who integrated the TCA team
“We had conversations with other buyers, but I’m very confident in saying that the process with SellerX was the smoothest, most enjoyable sales process that I could have expected.”
Frankie, founder of TCA
In 2012, Frankie started his business with £100 and a humble goal in mind. He took his capital and began selling snoods (neck warmers) on Amazon. His humble goal? Make £300 to buy a new phone. When he reached that target, Frankie decided to reinvest the £300 to make £600, and so on. He was only 22 at the time. Working from his bedroom at his mother’s house. Noticing a rising trend in compression sportswear, Frankie ditched the snoods to set about manufacturing base layers to create his own brand: Thorogood Competitive Apparel (TCA). Later in 2015, he opted to expand the business beyond compression gear to include different types of sportswear, expecting market saturation for compression apparel.
He went to China, where he meticulously made every material and manufacturing decision, determined to create best-in-class apparel. The hard work paid off as TCA’s sales grew exponentially and was touted as a favourite among professional athletes, like Isaac Chamberlain. In 2017, ex-Amazonian Kris Linton joined the team as COO. He took his Amazon learnings & applied them to TCA, optimising all operations & opening TCA up to new marketplaces. The company was acquired by SellerX in May 2021.
Frankie: I was working in my bedroom at my mum’s house. Just desperate to get going in business and try and find what was going to work for me. I noticed all the footballers wearing compression wear for the first time. And I was like, “Wow, what is that? I’m going to look into it.” So that’s how I got the heads up on compression wear. I became probably the third or fourth compression sportswear brand in the whole of the UK. Some of those products that I first launched, the long-sleeved compression tops, they’re still in our top five today. It was an accident that I ended up selling on Amazon. Amazon Marketplace barely existed in 2012, and it certainly wasn’t for sportswear. I was talking to brick and mortar shops, initially. Then someone mentioned that Amazon was doing marketplace now. That’s the vehicle I chose.
Frankie: My job at the start was completely different to my job when we sold. At the start, I was doing everything to do with the products, the listings, everything. I was designing the products, developing them, taking care of operations, shipping documents, Amazon listings, customer service, packing things up myself, going to the Post Office, and so on and so on.
By the end, my typical workday was really thinking about what needed to happen. What’s the big picture of the company? What’s the strategic stuff that we should focus on? My job was to figure out what needed to be done to grow then start implementing decisions via hiring the right people and setting the right goals for those people. Which is completely different to the beginning of the business, where the most important thing for me to do was answer my customers before 24-hour SLA and run to the Post Office.
Frankie: As a leader, you have to understand what your limitations are, as well as what your strengths are. Over time, you slowly start to move your focus, energy, and time to what you’re best at. You have to find people to do the things you’re not good at. For me it was a struggle to let go of things and to trust someone. When I interviewed Kris, it was the only time in my life where I said at the end of the interview, “You need to work here. You have to work here.” I just knew he was the right match. His skills and his strengths perfectly contrast with mine. It’s a perfect match. In terms of the soft skills, we really match up and we’re aligned. Just things like work ethic, attention to detail, these types of things we share, which is important.
Frankie: I think that one of the biggest things was the changing world of Amazon Marketplace. We’re like veterans, we’ve been there since 2012. In 2015, 2016, the whole world started to sell on Amazon. We were so engrossed in what we were doing I don’t think we noticed how everything was changing around us quite so much. One of the challenges was to start to go back to square one and to say, “What are we doing now that’s always worked for us in the past, but actually it might not be best practice anymore?”
PPC, for example, we never touched PPC, really. We never needed it. And that turned out to be one of the biggest opportunities we’d been missing. We did a lot of work around Pan EU FBA. We had set up for Seller Fulfilled Prime in the UK as a full FBA stock holding was becoming a little bit more difficult.