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40 3:Eleven

4 Broomfield Lane, Altrincham, Cheshire

Who you need to know

Owners Georgina and Elizabeth Nurse

Brands include American Retro, Bolongaro Trevor, ChloBo, Dana Levy, Dominique Mosley, House of Harlow, Hudson, IRO, Kain Label, LnA, Me & Zena, MiH Jeans, Siwy, Superga, Wildfox, Zoe & Morgan

Proving that a great eye for product and desire to succeed are sometimes more important than years of experience, 3:Eleven was set up by twin sisters Georg­ina and Elizabeth Nurse when they were aged just 24 in 2009.

Having just graduated with degrees in fashion buying from Manchester Metropolitan University, the sisters decided that, rather than look for jobs in the middle of a recession, they would take their future into their own hands. Named after the birthday of their late mother, a former textiles designer, 3:Eleven launched an online shop six months after opening the bricks-and-mortar business. The web now accounts for about 20% of 3:Eleven’s sales.

With a focus on US premium denim and contemporary brands, the store is aimed at a wide spectrum of customers, aged from 25 to 55, who want quality pieces with a touch of laid-back cool.

The twins say one of the biggest challenges in their first season was “buying cold” and not knowing how many pairs of jeans to buy in each size. They have also spent a lot of time educating customers about the brand mix, as many of the labels were not readily available in the UK.

There are plans to grow the online business further over the next year by focusing on marketing through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, the store’s own blog and email newsletters.

“Having had no real-life business experience, we are proud of how far we have come in such a short space of time and in such a competitive market,” says Georgina.

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