It’s almost too easy to get punny when you think of two Oxford graduate students starting a shirt company. But that’s exactly what Paul Trible and Paul Watson have done in creating Ledbury a Richmond-based company providing quality men’s shirts.
The two met at Oxford University where they pursued their MBAs during the worst of the economic collapse. Realizing that their job prospects would be extremely limited, they decided to pursue a passion and create a business, and jobs of their own.
The company, by the way, was brainstormed and developed during afternoon visits to a local English pub, located on Ledbury Road. The pub is located in London’s Notting Hill area.
Living in London, they became well acquainted with the tailoring at London’s Savile Row and the shirts of Jermyn Street. But coming home to the United States, they couldn’t find the same quality and same fit.
Trible has said they were spoiled by the tailors in the U.K. and began discussing what they could do about it. So they developed a plan and came to Richmond to put it into action.
But you have to ask how Trible and Watson met at Oxford. Trible grew up in southeastern Virginia where his father, former U.S. Senator Paul S. Trible is President of Christopher Newport University in Newport News. He attended Washington and Lee University, worked for Operation Smile, running medical missions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. While he was working in Vietnam he met his first master tailor. He went on to lead Operation Smile in London for four years before going to Oxford for graduate school.
Before starting their company, they met shirt-maker Robert Emmett, who had a shop on Jermyn Street in London. He agreed to let Trible and Watson work at his business for nine months to learn the craft.
Watson grew up in New Orleans and went to Davidson College. He worked briefly with the White House and then at the Defense Department. While traveling abroad, he too noticed a need for a quality American shirt maker. He met Trible at Oxford where the two decided to become shirt makers.
Now in Richmond, Ledbury is located in a renovated tobacco warehouse that was built in 1866 but they do the bulk of their business online. The have customers in every state and more than a dozen countries around the world.
Ledbury says, “We live by the belief that a few well-made items are better than many that are not, and although quality and attention to detail are not inexpensive, they do not always require an exorbitant price tag. Our goal is to set trend aside and make great-fitting, high-quality shirts that can be worn in any setting and by any generation.”
Ledbury makes great fitting, high-quality shirts that aren’t trendy and can be worn in many settings and by men of any age. They make their shirts using less material in the waist and the torso. Inverse stitching helps to keep the collars standing. A lower second button helps prevent the shirts from being buttoned to high or too low. Ledbury uses fine Italian fabrics for their shirts and the buttons are made from mother of pearl.
Ledbury has introduced their Commonwealth Collection which features items produced by other Virginia-based artisans. Just this month, Ledbury introduced a new line of flannels. Made from 100% cotton fabric from Tessitura Monti Ledbury skips the traditional muted colors of fall and provides these comfortable shirts in a trio of bold, vibrant plaids.
Visit Ledbury online or if you’re in the Richmond area, stop by their shop located in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom at 117 S. 14th Street.
Store hours are: 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. They’re closed on weekends.
By E-mail: email@example.com
By Phone: +1 888 233 1942
Images from Ledbury.com.