Norfolk clothing brand pop-up shop in city to remain open for another year
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A north Norfolk clothing brand with a pop-up shop in Norwich is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Blakely was founded by Gareth Newman in his childhood bedroom in Melton Constable and has since grown into an international brand with more than 300,000 followers on Instagram.
The brand has had a pop-up in London Street in the city for the last six months and it has been "exceeding expectations".
Mr Newham, who has Love Island stars Lucie Donlan and Luke Mabbott modelling for his brand, said the best thing about the pop-up store is the customer interaction.
"Speaking to them is invaluable - seeing what they want, how they style things," he said. "We can take it all back to our design team.
"And what people buy in the store is so different from online.
"Our knitwear and coats absolutely fly in the store whereas t-shirts do better online.
"We want people to use our clothes forever, that's why we're not fad-focused and don't make weird and wonderful colours that will go out of style in 10 minutes."
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After studying at the University of East Anglia and qualifying as a pharmacist, Mr Newman used his first pay cheque to start his clothing brand.
After two years teaching himself to use photoshop, sorting suppliers, and designing a website, Blakely officially launched in 2012.
The Norwich pop-up, which stocks menswear, womenswear and, accessories, opened in November last year and saw queues up to Norwich Market.
It will remain open for another year and Mr Newham said "it's going great considering it was an experiment".
He added: "It's far exceeding our expectations. There have been so many offshoots we never expected and for the local community to get behind us so much makes it all feel worthwhile.
"It gives me so much fulfilment.
"The pop-up was meant to be a transitional space on our way to finding a more permanent HQ in Norwich and that's still the plan."