A graduate from The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen Business School has created a new business venture by opening a new vintage clothing store in Carmarthen.
Mathew Kilgariff is the owner of ‘The Dandy Lion Vintage’ in Carmarthen. It is an independent business that specialises in vintage/retro clothing and accessories, whilst also offering customers sustainable, affordable & unique styles.
The idea originated from the fact that there were no good quality vintage clothing shops according to Mathew in the Carmarthenshire area (especially for men). He had visited vintage clothes shops in Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff and realised that a similar business could be viable in Carmarthen, and popular online platforms such as Depop and Vinted showed there was a demand for vintage products.
He said: “I believe that people still value physically shopping on a high street because it is possible to see and feel the quality, size, fit of a product (even try it on). A carefully selected collection of clothing can provide new ideas and there is knowledgeable staff to advise on what fits and suits each individual.
“I personally no longer shop at chain clothing shops as their “fast fashion” business model is unsustainable, the quality of clothes is often poor and there is no individuality.”
As Mathew’s grown up in Carmarthen, he felt that he knew the town’s demographic well, and felt that within the last 10 years it has become a shopping destination for both Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
“Many of the big chains have struggled to maintain their premises with the fight against a growing online-savvy consumer, but this has created an opportunity for independent shops to create a new dynamic on the high street. Also, with a thriving art college & university on our doorstep, I believe that young creative adults are underrepresented within the shops in the town.”
Mathew decided to study BA Business and Management at UWTSD Carmarthen as he knew that the university had an award-winning business department.
“As the classes were small you would have one to one teaching in a way that a larger university could not offer. When going to speak to my lecturers I also realised that they were running a course with much more emphasis on sustainability, which would give us an advantage over more traditional courses.
“I believe that the hands-on skills I learnt during the degree i.e., bookkeeping, marketing strategies, data analysis etc have been very beneficial to me in running my own business and the support that my lecturers gave me helped give me the confidence to make this a reality.”
Lecturer Jessica Shore is proud of Mathew’s venture and wishes him well for the future.
“It has been a pleasure to be involved in Mathew’s educational journey. Mathew was an excellent student and a keen entrepreneur. It’s wonderful to see he has turned his dream into reality.”