Pop up shop in the Brunel Centre proves to be big hit
A POP-UP vintage shop in the Brunel Centre opened with a bang over the weekend with live music, displays and a competition for best-dressed visitor.
Owners Stephen and Alicija Stuart opened their first shop, Carry On Vintage, on the first floor of the shopping centre on Saturday with a live music performance from rockabilly trio, Josie and the Outlaw.
There was also a display of Hot Rods and custom Harley Davidsons from Swindon Retro Rides on the ground floor of the Brunel Plaza to welcome customers to the new store and the best dressed visitor could win a prize of £50.
Stephen, 45, set up the shop with wife Alicija, 52, both from Lawns, after being involved on the vintage scene for about a year-and-a-half.
“It’s been amazing, we’ve had an amazing response,” Stephen said.
Alicija said: “We used to hold stalls at vintage fairs all over the country, we’ve been to Bournemouth and Winchester selling our stock.
“We always wanted to open a proper shop but we couldn’t afford the rates, so Stephen asked the Brunel if they were interested in a pop-up shop.”
The couple’s journey into vintage started when Alicija started buying things on Ebay.
She said: “I just love the style. I started off looking around online and getting things I liked.”
The couple decided to start trading at vintage fairs when the clothes started spilling out of cupboards and drawers.
The store not only sells a wide range of true vintage pieces carefully sourced for their quality, condition and design but embraces the vintage culture completely, and is a place where friends can also go to relax, listen to classics on the jukebox and enjoy a drink or two.
What makes them so appealing to vintage fans is their full range of menswear, including suits, harringtons, tweed jackets, denims and braces.
Stephen said: “What makes us a bit different is our range of men’s vintage clothes. A lot of the time we had fairs calling us up because they had no men’s stock.”
As well as frequently rotated stock to match the seasons, the store also plans a number of different events during their first five months, including a vintage cocktail taster session, a vintage hair styling day and a wet shave day for the men.
When their lease ends in February the couple will consider how successful the store has been before thinking about extending it.
Jane Stewart, marketing manager at The Brunel, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Carry on Vintage to the centre. We look forward to working with Stephen and Alicija on events with a difference starting this weekend.”
The winner of the best dressed contest will be announced on the store’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ carryonvintage. For more on what’s on offer in the Brunel, log on to www.thebrunel.co.uk
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