Inspired by a New Year’s Eve walk around Ipswich, shop owner Remmy Ajadi noticed how many mainstream shops had disappeared from the high street.
Acknowledging that many of them originally started out as independent stores before becoming part of a chain, this got him thinking that maybe now was the time to re-introduce a level of individuality back into the town centre; enter nTouragE.
Back in the day, Remmy studied fashion design in London. “I remember how difficult it was then for independent designers to get a presence on the high street,” he told us. “Having walked around a very empty Ipswich town centre, I thought, there is an opportunity here to create something different”.
Remmy runs the shop with his wife Angela. Both have busy full-time jobs as well as looking after three boys, 18, 14 & 12 years old. The shop name nTouragE is a play on words, from entourage = a team of people who work together as a collective for the common purpose.
“nTourage isn’t just about clothing,” says Angela. “It is also jewellery, accessories, artwork and unique gift ideas that allow us to offer the whole package, wrapped in a personalised customer experience”.
New customer Sally Thompson, stumbled across them one Saturday whilst re-investigating the town, she explains “I am an Ipswich girl at heart, having been born here many years ago. I hadn’t been back for a few years and was just having a wander around town and was excited to come across a new shop selling something a bit exclusive. Angela was so welcoming and introduced me to the different designers. I had great fun trying on a number of outfits and eventually choose a design by Jana J.”
Catering for both men and women, nTouragE can be found on the ground floor at Sailmakers, unit 5 – next to the escalators, directly below HMV. The plan is to organise regular fashion shows and flash mobs with a live mannequin or two, plus some creative masterclasses. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact the couple via their website: https://www.ntourage.co.uk/
Remmy concludes: “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.”