Store offers independent designers space to 'bring different styles'

Angela and Remmy Ajadi in their shop

Angela and Remmy Ajadi in their shop - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The couple behind an independent business showcasing upcoming fashion designers took the plunge to open in Ipswich after a New Year's Eve walk around the town. 

nTouragE owners Angela and Remmy Ajadi wanted their shop to be a place for independent designers to have a space on the high street. 

Remmy, who trained at the London School of Fashion, came up with the idea after noticing how many mainstream shops had disappeared while they were walking through the town on New Year's Eve.

He said: “I remember how difficult it is for independent designers to get a presence on the high street.

“Having walked around a very empty Ipswich town centre, I thought, there is an opportunity here to create something different.

"In nTouragE each designer has their own section and every section is unique. The shop changes its layout every month and brings fresh pieces."

The couple have now been trading since August in the Sailmakers shopping centre as they continue their aim to "bring different styles to Ipswich". 

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They chose the name as entourage's meaning - to work together as a collective for a common purpose - was central to their business.

Angela said: "Once the thing is sold, artists make something different. Every piece of clothing is handmade and the buyer can be sure that nobody else will wear the same thing.

“nTouragE isn’t just about clothing. It is also jewellery, accessories, artwork and unique gift ideas that allow us to offer the whole package, wrapped in a personalised customer experience."

nTouragE shop

nTouragE shop - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The owners, Angela and Remmy Ajadi

The owners, Angela and Remmy Ajadi - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The couple from north east Ipswich also work full-time and take care of their three boys aged 18, 14 and 12. 

Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes, with the owners

Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes, with the owners - Credit: Angela Ajadi

Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes, visited nTouragE

Ipswich Mayor, Elizabeth Hughes, visited nTouragE - Credit: Angela Ajadi

One way the business continues to try to increase its presence is organising fashion shows, supported by volunteers. 

Angela said: “People who are coming say, "oh I didn't know you were here." They're coming in for the first time after seven months we’ve been here.

“We need to let the local people know that we’re here.”

nTouragE fashion show

nTouragE fashion show - Credit: Angela Ajadi

nTouragE fashion show

nTouragE fashion show - Credit: Angela Ajadi

nTouragE fashion show

nTouragE fashion show - Credit: Angela Ajadi

 “Everyone is a volunteer as we don’t have the budget. We have volunteer photographers from colleges, volunteer models who are all sizes, all ages or shapes, so everyday people. 

“We just all came together. The last fashion show was very informal but also very successful.”

nTouragE fashion show

nTouragE fashion show - Credit: Angela Ajadi

Remmy added: “Our aim is to grow and replicate growth in other major towns and cities by supporting local designers and the community, but first we need to make a success of it here in Ipswich and we very much value everyone’s support.”