Jimmy Gregory, Class of 2006

Jimmy Tearaway

Capture: Andrew West

Things have been rather manic since talking to some of the media students at the Meet the Graduates event earlier this year. For those that weren’t there, I graduated in 2006 and ended up hotfooting it to Leeds in search of a job in the creative industry. I had no industry links as part of my armory and I never had that impeccable sense of timing to be in the right place at the right time.

I applied for post after post, and received my fair share of rejection letters and ultimately resorted to drafting written responses to complaints for one of the UK’s largest car manufacturers in order to pay the rent. Nevertheless I kept applying and after 18 months, I thought that I had caught my break when a local studio decided to take me on. But oh how I was wrong. It didn’t exactly pan out the way it had in my head and within 3 months the dreams were shattered and I was unemployed once more.

Suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, my health also took a bit of a nosedive and I was subsequently signed off for a prolonged period.  It was during this time that I became aware of The Prince’s Trust and its Enterprise programme, which helps young people set up their own business. Believing that no employer was likely to take me on having had my first creative position terminated, I believed this was my last shot at becoming a designer. With their help I set up Tearaway Studios, a very small design label which operates out of the back bedroom of my house in Leeds. It’s a modest enterprise which allows me to do what I enjoy the most and over the last two and a half years it has slowly expanded and allowed me to develop my skills as a designer whilst working on the project briefs that really grab my attention.

I later became an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and now work for the charity on a temporary 12 month contract, working with young people in the community and helping them reach a positive outcome. I’m still running Tearaway Studios, however the business is now no longer looking for new clients as a safeguard to ensure that I don’t go prematurely grey.

I’m also heavily involved in a new social enterprise which will aim to help media graduates gain experience in the industry without having to sell their souls or the shirts off their backs. It’s a cause which is extremely close to my heart, having experienced my fair share of poverty in the pursuit of a career in media. We’re looking to launch later this summer, so keep your eyes peeled and your creative juices simmering!

5 thoughts on “Jimmy Gregory, Class of 2006

  1. Jimmy is so awesome!! I’ve known him for a long time and still cannot comprehend how he breeds so much passion, creativity and ideas. I love listening and to him as he cuts the crap and gets to the point. You gotta love that!

    His work is amazing and I’ve always been a fan from the first day I saw some of his designs. We have worked together on numerous occasions and will do again sometime in the future I hope.

    Any advice he will give you will be targeted, direct and actionable and you would be crazy (ok not crazy) to take heed! He speaks from the heart and gets involved deeply in any project he works on. Wow Im really selling you here Jimbot…ha!

    He will be doing some amazing things for students and graduates alike, so do keep checking back with him. Trust me, once you meet/talk with him, you’ll be hooked. He’s such an inspiration.

    Im always trying to convince him to blog more as I know there will be hundreds of students for whom he would create so much value and much needed insights.

    Keep being so awesome Jimmy and let’s connect soon!

  2. Congrats Jimmy! I interviewed you at the Meet the Graduates event and it was great to hear about the work you’re doing. All the best for the future and your new social enterprise :)

  3. Wow! Though I met you at the event I didn’t know the full extent of what you’ve had to deal with and I’m even MORE impressed than I originally was by your career journey. Well done and congratulations!!! And what you’re wanting to do to give back sounds amazing. I expect I’ll be hearing more about your progression soon enough. Until then keep making the uni proud! Lol

  4. This is inspirational Jimmy – thank you for taking the time. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet you. I hope you stay in touch and we can find ways to work with you and support you as things progress.

    • It was a pleasure to be a part of such a good event. I’ll certainly stay in touch and hopefully I can help out where possible too.

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