Showcasing Made-in-Sheffield Fashion
Independent shops are popular in Sheffield, particularly those which focus on uniquely designed products. The Kuji shop is one such place. It has been open for four years and its popularity is increasing.
The Kuji shop works closely with local people. Currently, there are six independent Sheffield artists and designers who provide T-shirts and stationary for Kuji.
Greg Thomas, creative manager at Kuji, said;
“The owner wants to showcase independent labels and there are some good local artists and designers in Sheffield. Kuji provides a platform for these artists to show off their work.”
A good relationship with the locals
Kuji not only emphasises that their products are ethically made and eco-friendly, but also that they have a good connection with their customers and the local community. Greg said;
“We are happy to give advice to our customers, which is not always the case in bigger shops. We are usually really honest to our customers. If we don’t think something is right for them, we will tell them. A lot of our customers are now our friends.”
The Kuji shop also sells lomography cameras. Interestingly, this has a great effect on their relationship with customers.
“We run our own photography competition on our Facebook page, which a lot of people are interested in. It’s good to see what our customers have done and they often come in and have a chat about it.”
The right customers
It is definitely not easy to operate an independent shop, since they often don’t have a as much capital as chain stores. Yet they face the same competition.
However, the KuJi shop does really well. The shop was established on Ecclesall Road, one of the most popular and competitive shopping areas in Sheffield. Yet it was able to move from a small store to where it is presently located.
KuJi’s success may be down to the fact that they target the right customers. Greg said;
“Residents in the Sheffield city centre are mainly students, so you’ve automatically got the age range set. The owner and I are quite young, so we know what we’re interested in and we hope that our customers would like the products we choose.
“Someone who isn’t that interested in high street fashion, but still wants to look trendy. I think that’s the type of person we get in.”
They try really hard to achieve this goal. People who visit the Kuji shop can see some chic and unique clothes that are a little different and individual. They also help the work of local artists and designers to be showcased in their hometown.
The Kuji Shop in 60 seconds - Interviewee: Greg Thomas