Zach Roberts has been running SupplyHaus for about a year through his own website and on e-bay and Etsy alongside his day job at a large local company.
As a regular visitor to the Paragon Arcade, he jumped at the chance when he spotted a vacant spot.
Mr Roberts said: “I learned about the unit when I was at Two Gingers.
“I go there most Saturdays and every person I saw there was perfect for what I wanted to do.”
Now running SupplyHaus full-time and open seven days a week, Mr. Roberts aims to create a range of authentic, quality vintage clothing products from the 1940s to the 1980s with workwear and military themes as well as random accessories. .
He said: “I’ve always wanted to do something on my own because I like the idea of no one telling me what to do. During lockdown I wasn’t spending a lot so I bought some clothes vintage.
“The business is doing well online and with the store, I want to create the feel of a 1940s general store.
“The hardest part is finding the right stock, but when we get it, we can be exclusive.”
Like many new businesses born in the past 24 months, Mr Roberts, 25, started selling clothes during the lockdown.
He was working for a food manufacturer at the time and, although he was not furloughed, he was not spending as much as usual, which allowed him to save some capital and make the change to become his own boss.
“I was trying to think of a way to work for myself and start right away without getting involved in long trainings,” he said.
“I like the idea of not having to ask if I need time off or if I want to work late.
That’s what I’m going to do here – extend the opening when I know people will be there and take time when it’s quiet.
I want it to be a place people like to visit because it sums up the rest of the arcade.
“Retail and clothing is what I chose.
“I started with around £500-600 and bought the first load.
“I chose this theme because I like the functionality of the military and although people don’t realize it, you get a lot of modern clothing that takes inspiration from this sector.
Mr. Roberts’ fascination and attraction to the niche sector lies in the durability and quality of vintage clothing.
In the age of fast fashion, people buy clothes that they only intend to wear a handful of times at best.
But Mr. Roberts wants to focus on clothes that can last a lifetime.
“There’s also a lot of denim – it’s about striving for quality.
“People buy any item of clothing these days and expect it won’t last, but everything here has lasted 40, 50 or even 60 years and is still in good condition.
“It’s real craftsmanship and it’s done by people who earned good wages and enjoyed a good lifestyle, so it’s also guilt-free.
“I also want people to come back because they never know what we’ll have next – even I don’t know that far in advance because I’m looking for
stock, unique pieces selected by me as they become available.