What’s Your Story? Giant

Yeah yeah, we know, it’s been a while and you’ve missed it. You haven’t? What’s your problem?

If you have no idea what we’re going on about, we’re humbled, proud, feeling blessed and any other banal self-congratulatory, Linkedin-esque tripe we can think of to bring you the return of What’s Your Story? featuring P & C’s favourite Brighton vintage clothes shop, Giant, based in Brighton’s Open Market.

We had a straight-to-the-point and refreshing chat with co-owner and all round lovely chap, Simon Bridger.

Q. Hi Simon, tell us a bit about yourself?

A. 52 years old, Brighton born & bred, been in the retail game for 13 years.

Q. So you’ve been a Mod, casual and new romantic (research done before interview) Tell us a bit about your past…

A. Grew up in a rich musical & vibrant clothing time where things moved very fast.

Went from mod to new romantic to casual effortlessly, things were very quickly changeable and wearing the right clobber was very competitive.

You could go away on a two week holiday abroad and when you came back all your clothes were out of fashion, that’s how quickly it moved.

Q. How did you get into retail?

A. I’d just finished working on a contract at AmEx, i was in my mate’s shop and he was struggling a bit, he asked me if i fancied giving the clothing game a go, I rented a rail off him & never looked back.

Q. Tell us more about Giant?

A. I wanted to start a shop up that was inspired by some of the London shops of the eighties that were American clothing influenced, it just felt like the right time instinctively to do it.

Q. You don’t do e-commerce – why?

A. No major reason, I post up items on Facebook & Instagram but that’s about as far as I go, I guess I’m still in love with the old fashion notion of just going into a shop and being inspired to buy something in real time.

Q. Future plans for Giant?

A. Just to grow organically; I like businesses that grow slowly and don’t put too much pressure on themselves.

We’ll always have the core of what the shop is all about i.e American vintage clothing but other ideas will spring up around that.

I never want to rest on my laurels & you always have to be moving forwards – if not you’re moving backwards!

Follow Giant On Facebook and Instagram

 

Harriet’s Of Hove
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Harriet’s Of Hove is a plastic-free pantry based on Blatchington Road in Hove, providing customers with ethical eco-friendly supplies, refills and packaging alternatives. We caught up with Harriet to ask her about the shop and the ideas behind it.

 

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HOW WAS HARRIET’S OF HOVE STARTED?

HoH was started as a form of protest with the way the supermarkets had become. It was following Plastic Free July 2018 and the frustrations of finding shopping plastic free so difficult. So, my partner (Mhiran) and I decided to take on the venture of opening a plastic free shop!

 

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HOW LONG HAS THIS IDEA BEEN WITH YOU?

We properly decided to commit to the venture August 2018 and we opened Harriet’s of Hove in 12 weeks. Previous to Plastic Free July last year, it had never crossed my mind!

 

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HOW HAVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY REACTED?

The local community have been fantastic. Many people are already committed to doing what they can and other are excited to be starting their refilling journey. The shop really has become a little hub for the community, In which people stop and chat. Put the World to rights, and just enjoy discussing food again.

They is also I diverse amount of environmental discussion and plastics debate in store and that’s exactly what we wanted to create.

 

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HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO STOCK IN THE SHOP?

A mixture of stocking what we used beforehand. Seeing what is available in bulk and minimal packaging. But also there has been a wonderful amount of local suppliers and independent makers who have approached us to sell their products in store. This has been really exciting for us.

 

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WHAT’S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING ABOUT WASTE GENERATED BY REGULAR SHOPS/SUPERMARKETS?

That is easy!! The amount that is non-recyclable and completely unnecessary. This waste outlives us on the landfill or ends up in the sea. It has no further purpose and costs local councils money to process it.

 

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WHAT ARE A FEW TIPS FOR AVERAGE PEOPLE TO CUT DOWN ON UNNECESSARY PLASTICS/WASTE?

A little organisation goes a long way! Preparing meals and remembering to take reusables out with you. Also, to start with a bit at a time. Changes don’t happen over night so little but often is a winner.

Oh! And ENJOY IT. Shopping sustainably and consciously bring many benefits and improves the ‘feel good factor’ of how we live and consume.

 

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HOW CAN WE HELP SPREAD THE WORD?

Harriet’s of Hove has a lively Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account. We don’t just use our social media to promote products and the shop, but also to spread awareness and campaign information.

However, ‘word of mouth’ is a great favourite of ours. For those that are interested in plastic free living or lowering, we’re right here for them. Let them know.

 

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WHY HOVE?

I was born in Brighton and have lived in Hove most of my life. I has a special place in my heart. Also (possibly more honestly) going to Brighton to refill was a long trek and now I don’t have to go so far myself!….Hove was missing this facility, so we wanted to provide something really local for Hovians alike.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR HARRIET’S OF HOVE?

Who knows?! It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year, so perhaps just breathe a little for now. At the pace we are learning and growing, it is very hard to say about future plans. However, we have no current plans to open another store. We want to grow this baby well first.

We will continue to campaign and listen and will provide what we can, with what resources we have available.

 

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If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com