Matthew Taylor, 41 and Lisa Pickles, 36, are taking Lancashire’s vintage scene by storm, but it hasn’t been an easy ride for them.
Preloved, vintage, thrifting, are all words that have become more and more prevalent in our vocabulary.
And as the cost of living crisis continues, more people are turning to better quality vintage items to save themselves so money. One couple have made the most of this growing trend.
They are now set to open their fourth vintage clothing store in Lytham, following the success of their sites in Preston, Clitheroe and Hebden Bridge. Matthew Taylor, 41 and Lisa Pickles, 36, are taking Lancashire’s vintage scene by storm.
But it hasn’t been an easy ride for them.
Matthew and Lisa opened their first Hollywood Exports store on Fox Street in Preston four years ago. They sell a vide variety of vintage clothes, and specialize in American vintage items, sourced and shipped from the USA.
Lisa said: “We were always in antiques and collectibles anyway. We dealt with pre-owned, pre-loved old stuff. But the clothes business initially started with a friend in America who lived in LA, and he’d source all our stock from thrift stores, from flea market. He’d buy it and he’d send all over to us on pallets. Unfortunately, he had some ill health and couldn’t do it for us anymore, so we had to change our business model.
“But we kept growing our business and opening new stores, and we are where we are now.”
The couple have four stores in total, with their second store in Clitheroe being opened right before the pandemic it. The couple took the pandemic on the chin however, and put their all into keeping their business alive.
Lisa said: “It was it was challenging. There’s absolutely no denying it. It’s a scary time to be a small independent business. When you’re self employed, you’re the only person bringing money into your home. So you have to get out there and keep on it and keep going and that’s the only you can either curl up and hide away from it all, and hope everything works out or you just have to keep thinking outside the box and keep pushing forward.”
“When we were getting grants, the grant money just fell short by about £500 every month just keeping the doors shut, we were still haemorrhaging money.”
The pandemic brought other unexpected issues for the couple. A combination on the pandemic, the fuel crisis and Brexit has meant the average cost of one of their imported pallets of clothing has soared from £2,500, to around £12,000, a 380% increase.
Despite everything happening right now that would put someone off opening a new shop, Lisa and Matthew are storming a head, determined not to be ‘part of the problem.’
Lisa said: “Its either made people go one way or the other. Where as some people have decided to shut up shop and go online, we’ve just thought we need to give it our all and keep pushing forward.”
“We were apprehensive, you know with energy bills going up and everything else, we thought should we even be opening a store? But we thought, are we gonna be the problem, are we gonna let a possible recession be the end of all our hard work? We don’t want to be the victim of a recession, we want to fight it.”
Whilst the new store on Market street doesn’t have a confirmed opening date, Lisa and Matthew are aiming to open their doors by the end of October.
- 13:01, 25 SEP 2022