06:00 May 9, 2022
The couple behind an independent business showcasing upcoming fashion designers have taken the plunge to open in Ipswich after a New Year’s stroll through the town.
nTourageE owners Angela and Remmy Ajadi wanted their shop to be a place where independent designers would have space on the high street.
Remmy, who trained at the London School of Fashion, came up with the idea after noticing that many mainstream stores had disappeared as they strolled around town on New Year’s Eve.
He said: “I remember how difficult it is for independent designers to gain a presence on the high street.
“After walking through a very empty Ipswich town center I thought there was an opportunity here to create something different.
“At nTouragE, each designer has their own section and each section is unique. The shop changes its layout every month and brings new pieces.”
The couple have been shopping since August in the Sailmakers shopping center as they pursue their aim to ‘bring different styles to Ipswich’.
They chose the name because the meaning of entourage – working together as a collective for a common purpose – was central to their business.
Angela said: “Once the thing is sold, the artists create something different. Each piece of clothing is handmade and the buyer can be sure that no one else will wear the same thing.
“nTouragE is not just about clothes. It’s also jewelry, accessories, artwork and unique gift ideas that allow us to offer it all, wrapped in a personalized customer experience.”
The couple from north east Ipswich also work full time and care for their three boys, aged 18, 14 and 12.
The company continues to try to increase its presence by organizing fashion shows, supported by volunteers.
Angela said: “People who come say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you were here. They come for the first time after seven months that we are here.
“We have to let the local people know that we are here.
“Everyone is a volunteer because we don’t have the budget. We have volunteer photographers from universities, volunteer models of all sizes, ages or shapes, so ordinary people.
“We just all got together. The last fashion show was very informal but also very successful.
Remmy added: “Our aim is to grow and replicate the growth in other major cities by supporting local designers and the community, but first we need to make it a success here in Ipswich and we very much appreciate the support of each.”