Thetford-born Shane opens first business in hometown
08:00 21 February 2016
An entrepreneur is celebrating opening his first business in his hometown after initial fears he would be priced out of its rental market.
Shane Hunter’s first shop, Hats Don’t Sell, started trading in Thetford’s Charles Burrell Centre on February 15.
Mr Hunter, a pupil at the Charles Burrell School before its closure, said setting up shop in the centre was like “coming back home”.
“I looked in the town centre, but the rent was so high I was priced out. When I walked into this room I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it,” he said.
Mr Hunter, 40, was quick to sing the praises of his new digs, an “easy location” for him and his customers.
“I’m so glad the school wasn’t knocked down. More people should see the potential this building has, it is a good stepping stone for anyone,” he said.
Mr Hunter’s retail experience started more than 20 years ago, working with his mum in clothing shop Rawhide in Thetford. He also worked at JJB Sports, Savers and the Original Factory Shop before starting out on his own.
Hats Don’t Sell, a named coined by Mr Hunter and friends over the items’ marketability, stocks a range of boys’ and men’s jackets, T-shirts and hats, as well as key rings and items from comic giants Marvel and DC.
“I spent years working for big companies but always had a dream of wanting to do it myself,” he said.
“Things have been alright since we opened, and out Facebook page has gone crazy.
“We’ve had a lot of support from the staff. I don’t think people realise how much the managers care for the people who are based here.”
Located in the school’s former science block, Mr Hunter said he repurposed a lot of the room’s old furniture including shelves and a sink unit.
“I spent a lot of money on paint,” he added.
Hats Don’t Sell is open in the Charles Burrell Centre from 9am to 4pm.