Former florist Chris Huggett has turned his back on bouquets in favour of boutiques to start up a directional menswear independent.
Huggett, who used to supply supermarket giants Tesco, Asda and Morrisons with blooms from his Evolution Flowers business, has sold the company to set up Ibson, a menswear boutique in Stamford, Lincolnshire. He plans to roll out eight more stores in the next five years in partnership with his wife Melanie Clipston, who previously worked for fashion multiples Next and Jaeger.
Ibson’s 800sq ft store on St Mary’s Street stocks brands including Nicole Farhi, Folk, Acne, Electronic Poet and Nom de Guerre.
Huggett said: “We took advantage of cheaper rents by opening at this time and are soon to launch a transactional website. Our next step will be to open a womenswear boutique.”
Ibson offers a personal shopper service and an out-of-hours initiative, where busy customers can call Huggett and request he opens the store at a time to suit them.
Huggett said: “We knew we needed to differentiate to survive as a start-up in a recession so we went for a slightly older, wealthier market with our brands and our service ethic.”