Last week we were invited to Northern Quarter in Manchester city centre to attend the opening party for The Bizarre our latest stockist.
The new apparel store, dubbed "The hidden gem of independent apparel" was founded by Independent brand owner Damian Gray. Specialising in stocking Independent clothing and streetwear labels (such as ourselves!) from across the country.
(Sarah shown here, enjoying life.)
The shop has now been open to the public for a week and we got to talk to Damian about how his brand started and why he wanted to work with us.
What made you decide you wanted to take the leap and open up your own brick and mortar store?
Quite quickly into starting my brand two years ago, I was approached by a brick and mortar store in Leeds called Audere who stocked their own brand and a range of other independent labels. This helped me boost my online status as well as become known in my hometown city. While at Lancaster University I had a weekly market stall which also helped establish my brand in a city. With a move to Manchester already planned, a brick and mortar store using the same business strategies as Audere seemed like the next step. This would also mean more traffic to my website as I was seen as a more established brand with a lot more people wearing my product. The other positive aspect to opening this shop is to help other brands who were in my position two years ago to expand and try a whole new platform of selling their products which they not have had before.
(Left to Right: Damian, Maxine and Sarah)
So you’ve just opened your shop The Bizarre to the public, what has feedback been like so far?
The feedback so far has been great. Manchester's Northern Quarter prides itself on supporting small businesses and the public come here to find a product that everybody else in the UK hasn't already got. So the response to the variety of independent labels and the quality and originality of the products has been fantastic. Word of mouth is the only promotion we've used so far, before we start collaborations with the universities and club nights in January, and so far it has worked great. In the space of a week we've already had repeat customers, friends of customers and even a famous face!
What did you like about Platypus, that made you want to stock us?
Platypus caught my attention because their products seemed so high quality. Without slandering other labels, most independent brands seem to have smaller prints to keep costs down. What I like about Platypus is they have full print across the t-shirts and some of the best dip dye t-shirts I've ever seen. I tried it once myself and never again! I'm delighted they are stocked with us and feedback so far with their brand has been great - with their Dawn of the Dead skull tee getting a lot of attention in our shop window!
Thanks Damian. It's been a pleasure.
Spotted: Dawn of the Dead shirt on one bad acid trip.
You can find the new store at:
10 Hilton Street,
Manchester, M1 1JF
Follow Us on Facebook
Tags: Platypus UK, The Bizarre, Shop Opening, events, news, fashion, streetwear blog, Nottingham, Manchester, Midlands, Independent business.