Dream comes true for Kettering friends as they take vintage clothes firm into Europe

The business started out with just £500 - now it's hitting the European market

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 7:00 am
L-R: Co-owners Jack Tavener and Elis Haddock and Kettering store manager Scott Pearson

Two school friends from Kettering who set up a vintage clothes business with just £500 are set to hit the European market with a pop-up shop in Amsterdam.

Jack Tavener and Elis Haddock, who both went to Latimer Arts College, created Groovy Garage in 2017 after being inspired by shopping trips when they were younger.

They tapped into the huge market of pre-loved designer gear, popular with students, and now have shops in Kettering and Cambridge selling their range of wavey garms.

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And next month they will tick another box in their grand expansion plans when they host a pop-up shop in the heart of the Dutch capital.

Jack, 26, said: "We've both just got a love of and passion for clothes and styles and we've been into it for such a long time. There's massive inspiration from the shops around London that we always visited when we were younger.

"At the start of the business we both put £250 in each. Now we've got two shops, three full-time employees and a part-time employee.

"We just love what we do."

Jack and 25-year-old Elis spent countless weekends hitting vintage shops in London as teenagers and decided to set up their own business after a visit to Notting Hill Carnival.

They created Groovy Garage, selling clothes from Jack's sister's old bedroom before flogging items on a rail at a hairdressers in The Yards in Market Street.

As their business grew they set up a website and started holding pop-up shops before opening their first permanent store above Storm in Gold Street in 2019.

In June this year they opened their second branch in Cambridge's colourful Magdalene Street, and they have spent recent weeks travelling around the UK hosting pop-up shops at flagship Urban Outfitters stores in some of the UK's major cities.

And from November 15 to 21 they'll venture into Europe for the first time with their own pop-up shop with live DJs in Amsterdam.

Jack said: "We just want to take it to another level. We've always wanted to sell in Europe and now we are.

"Our big dream is to take Groovy Garage to New York. If we can do Europe then I think we can do that."

The pair travel around the world sourcing pre-loved clothes, spending weeks building up their stock of trendy streetwear which is in a good condition.

Every item they sell is hand-picked including branded items by Stone Island, Supreme, Versace, Palace and more.

They have plans in the pipeline to expand even more in the UK - and they can't wait to put Kettering on the map.

Jack said: "NN - that is it."