In 2011 George Tapsell set up goalkeeping brand Calma Goalkeeping at the tender age of just 15; after selling out a hugely successful gaming website which topped google ranking within the first quarter of the financial year.
Over four-years Tapsell has lead Calma Goalkeeping to become a very well respected and globally recognised brand within the world of football. Whilst also winning over a lot of pundits in the world of business, so much that he has taken recognition from Lord Alan Sugar from the hit TV Show ‘The Apprentice’ (BBC1). The Newport born businessman has also had a selection of the worlds biggest and best household names testing his gloves which has influenced the way a number of products are produced. Now aged 18, George is currently in the process of setting up a software which will change the whole way the world shops online – in which some major investors and companies have taken interest in. George has recently just arrived back in the UK from Northern America after meeting with some highly influential entrepreneurs about his next business and future endeavours. It is no surprise Tapsell has headlined national papers and featured on TV Interviews.
He said exclusively to elwriteback: “I have many ideas floating around and also being developed. These include expanding the Calma brand but also things which have absolutely no relation to sports. These are possible future projects and I plan to develop these ideas when I have some spare time. I am always looking for gaps in the market or possibly ‘the next big thing’.”
What gave you that first idea to set up your own company?
Interesting question, it’s something which I could respond to you with 1000 different answers and that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. You get so many gains mentally whilst also gaining skills which you cant learn elsewhere. I owned my first business at 14 – which most will say is too young, but if you know what you want to do and possess the skills and hunger to do it; age is just a number. I proved that to all the doubters by topping google rankings and being offered a chance to sell the business within the first 6 months of existence which I then decided was the right option for me at the time. I was earning a lot of money for someone at the tender age of 14.
Why did you decide to choose goalkeeping products?
I have been a goalkeeper since the age of 8 and luckily had very supportive parents, who spent thousands on my football during my childhood, I used to play all over Europe. I practically had a new pair of gloves every other game. I am very thankful to my parents for that but it really wasn’t needed. With my match gloves averaging around £60-£100 per pair I felt it was time someone offered a professional glove without the professional price tag. Calma Sports was founded in 2011 with the sole aim of offering a top grade product to all Goalkeepers, from grassroots to professional levels at a very affordable price. Our brief was to use the finest materials, manufacture a comfortable and durable glove with a level of grip which would not be compromised. With the help of some highly experienced Goalkeepers and Goalkeeping coaches we have designed and developed a glove range which does just that.
Where do you see Calma in 10 years?
I think that question is impossible to answer, although one thing for sure is I definitely have time on my side. We have reached a stage in football where it’s evolving almost every day. But i’d love to see Calma as one of the main brands in goalkeeping; A brand which is associated with quality and performance which I feel we have already achieved with the users who have given us a chance. The main objective I suppose is to reach out to an ever wider customer base each year.
Who’s your favourite goalkeeper?
My favourite goalkeeper is Iker Casillas, he has such a relaxed look on the field – I don’t think anything phases him. He has a lot of qualities which I feel are important on & off the pitch such as loyalty, discipline and man management. He’s showed that by captaining Real Madrid as a teenager and guiding his nation to the World Cup.
Who’s your business idol?
I don’t idolise anybody in business, you have to be yourself. Although what I aim to do is take different qualities and characteristics from successful entrepreneurs and try to adapt them to my approach. You just have to dream big, work hard and surround yourself with good people. The success will soon follow.
Check out Calma’s latest products here.