Quality second-hand clothing makes market a destination for fashion seekers
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
It was five years ago when Heather Lovering turned her hobby into a business, and moved onto Norwich market.
And the 48-year-old, who had been trading out of St Gregory's Church for six months previous, hasn't looked back since.
Now, from Lovering and Co on Norwich market's back row, Ms Lovering sells what she calls an 'eclectic mix of different new and used clothes.'
She said: 'Things I like, I'll chose,everything is handpicked.
'I really like my men's stuff, I love my Harris Tweed, and I love my fur coats - we're rehoming them, they're already here and if we don't make the most of them they'll end up in a landfill.'
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Ms Lovering said her area of expertise had changed over the years though, and she'd seen her customers tastes change too.
'When I started the stall used to be more vintage, now it's more quality second-hand items because the vintage market has changed.
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'It's not so much say the 1940s stuff, it's the Harris Tweed, it's the kimonos. It's not so niche because it's not as fashionable as it was.'
And she said the market itself had changed too.
'I think it's changing for the better,' said Ms Lovering, who lives in Bunwell.
'There's more improvement needed of course but we're on the right path now, it's a great place to trade. It's always changing, you never know what's going to happen.'
She said she especially appreciated her neighbouring stalls who had helped her when she first started. Mark Wright, from Taxi Vintage, was the one who first encouraged Ms Lovering to take on a market stall.
And in their area, at the back of the market close to the memorial gardens, the music pumping and newly installed tables creates a buzzing atmosphere.
'It's a great place to start out,' she added.
'Costs are low, it's an ideal place to start a business. People are very supportive and helpful, I had welcoming advice from people with a lot of experience, some have been here for generations.'
And she said what made the market stand out was the level of customer service.
'You can build a rapport with them,' the mother-of-one added.
The number of different items available at Lovering and Co is just as staggering as the number of different fabrics and materials those clothes are made out of. From silk to fur to leather and wool, Ms Lovering picked through each to find three gems from her stall.
The first was a Japanese kimono, priced at £25. She said: 'They're genuine kimonos from Japan, handmade. They're beautiful, unusual, and we're probably the only place in Norwich to have them.'
She also pointed out a fox-fur hat, at £25. She also had rabbit and mink at the same price.
'Most of the hats are from Scandinavia,' she said. 'They wear them all the time, I once had a Norwegian man say if you wear a wolf hat your face will never freeze.'
Finally, Ms Lovering showed off her beloved Harris Tweed, at £40.
'I love a collection of Harris Tweed, she said.
'And so does the MP Clive Lewis, he told me he's known in Parliament as the MP who wears Harris Tweed.'