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27-year-old from Tockwith beats High Street store closure trends

headlock vintage

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 11:49am 10th August 2018.

Meet 27-year-old Tom Walker from Tockwith. He ditched the idea of university and is now defying High Street store closure trends with his online second-hand shop.

Tom spotted the trend for vintage clothes when he was just 18 and says the key to success was not opening a traditional shop.

He said:

"I started from just one rail of clothes in my bedroom when I was in sixth form, which I bought from car boot sales and places like that.

"I sold them on eBay and did little vintage fairs - and then slowly from there it's grown to having thousands of items in a warehouse."

Tom Walker from Headlock Vintage

The business, called Headlock Vintage, had a turnover of £400,000 last year, something Tom didn't expect to happen.

He said he knew he would always work hard, but there were days when he went to events and only made £20.

The key to success was the ability to pack up stock and move on to the next event or university fair - along with online sales. 

When he started the business from his bedroom in 2009, he sought advice from shop owners, who told him not to open a premises.

He added:

"I thought when it's raining on a Monday or Tuesday, who's going to come in a buy a jumper from me? And now on the website, we sell things through the night."

Tom is Tockwith born and bred and still lives in the village opposite his warehouse. 

Since 2009, he's sold clothes to Zayn Malik, Pete Doherty, and studios at ITV and the BBC.

His message to young people is to start as young as you can - and to not be afraid of not following the crowd to university.

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