Staff at a vintage clothing firm based in Hartlepool that boasts celebrities among its clientele has outlined their hopes for the future to Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen.
Atik Vintage, which is based at Hartlepool Business Centre, is the brainchild of two former students of Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD), Robin Page and Tom Townsend.
While studying at the college, the pair would sell clothes on eBay, and when they left they decided to turn their passion into a business.
Embracing the possibilities of social media and online global sales, Atik has a store on website Depop, where it has taken on millions of sellers.
It is not only getting international attention, but also catching the eye of celebrities with I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here winner Georgia Toffolo and Stereo Kicks’ Jake Sims having both purchased items from the shop.
Robin and Tom outlined their plans for the future to the mayor, which included a vision to open pop-up shops in major global cities.
Mr Houchen said: “At a time when there is a real drive to get young people into employment, Tom and Robin have taken it upon themselves to identify a brilliant business idea and capitalise on all of the opportunities available to them.
“Their business is going from strength to strength and they are an inspiration to everyone – young and old – in Tees Valley.
“They show that with enough grit, determination and novel thinking, you can succeed at something you love.”
Tom said: “We always try to get ahead of the curve and are constantly on the lookout for the next big trend in vintage clothing or nostalgic items.
“We have even made Robin’s graphic design company part of the Atik brand to diversify but are committed to growing the store more and more.
“While we’re hoping to just keep getting bigger and bigger, Tees Valley is our home and Atik isn’t planning on going anywhere else any time soon.”