Young entrepreneur wants to offer Norwich shoppers a retail ‘experience’
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
An ambitious young entrepreneur is hoping his new city centre store will be a successful platform to launch his own clothing brand.
But Tom Horan wants to bring more than a new fashion boutique to Norwich – after being inspired by retail experiences down under.
His shop Urban Myth Clothing – occupying the former Proudlock and Harry premises on London Street – also offers men's barbering services, and there are plans to take on a tattooist in the second-floor studio.
The 23-year-old said the idea came from his travels in Australia after leaving school.
'There was a store called Culture King, which had everything you could possibly want in a shop and a DJ too.
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'People talk about having retail 'experiences', but this was the first time I have been in a shop where you get a real experience.'
He quit his job as a pharmacy assistant to set up the business, which began trading on September 16.
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'I fancied a change and thought, this is something I could be passionate about,' he said.
'It will help me towards my goal of launching my own label – I'd like to get it well known around Norwich then invest in it more widely.'
As well as adding his own fashion label to the range – for which some items are already being designed – he plans to invest in more British brands for Urban Myth. 'I want to solely focus on British brands because I think that is where the market is going. People seem to like the style they are going with.'
Despite stocking London and Manchester-based clothing brands, Mr Horan, from Attleborough, eschewed larger towns in favour of his home county to launch his business.
'I've done my research and Norwich is up-and-coming. It is on the way to becoming the third busiest shopping city in the country. It is logical while I am looking to grow to choose a city that is growing.'
He added: 'I am trying to crack £100,000 revenue in my first year and go from there.'
Mr Horan is also forging links with the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts, with plans to offer promotions to students and help the institutions promote their start-of-term events.
A VIP autumn/winter launch event is planned at the shop in late October.