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Businessman turns his vintage clothing hobby into his job

Mark Wright on his Taxi Vintage Clothing stall on Norwich market.

Mark Wright on his Taxi Vintage Clothing stall on Norwich market.

Archant Norfolk 2010

A former tunnel miner has turned his hobby of shopping for vintage clothing into a business by setting up a clothing stall on Norwich Market.

Mark Wright on his Taxi Vintage Clothing stall on Norwich market.

Originally from Whitechapel in London, Mark Wright, 41, opened ‘Taxi Vintage Clothing’ in May this year after struggling to find work in the region.

Mr Wright moved to Norwich in October last year. “When I met and fell in love with my wife Helen, we married and moved to Norwich to start our life together but work was scarce so I had to travel 250 miles back to London every day,” he said.

“I still continued with my manual work, progressing from a highly skilled and respected London tunnel miner for Thames Water and the Jubilee line to a crane operator, but by the time my first son William was born times were really tough.”

A year and a half later Mr Wright’s second son James was born so Mr Wright decided to use his life savings to start Taxi Vintage Clothing.

“My ‘third baby’ was born,” he said.

From the age of 15, Mr Wright has bought his own clothes and while working on building sites he would visit the nearby markets to search for unique and unusual items in his lunch hour.

He said: “It was my passion. Eventually I began to recognise the genuine articles from the fake and found I had a real eye for cool and fabulous vintage trends.”

Taxi Vintage Clothing offers a range of vintage styles which are sourced from all over the world such as Manhattan, Paris and London.

Mr Wright said: “It’s been hard going raising a young family and starting a new business but fortunately it’s been growing from strength to strength each month, even though the recession is biting hard”.

The stall also boasts ornate chandeliers and a heated changing room. Mr Wright is also keen to help organisers with events that have a demand for vintage clothing and is on hand to offer style advice for anyone who wants to get an authentic look.

“I’m loving it here, I’m loving the buying, I’m loving the interaction with people. I like the outside. People should be buying from the markets,” he said.

“People can get clothes from New York and Berlin, the boutique cities of the world, all on the back row of Norwich Market.”

Have you started a new business? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 772438 or email donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk

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