Tiger Fifty 7 co-owners Anna Lockwood and Georgina Simpson describe their shop as “edgy”. It’s possibly not the first adjective you would actually use to describe a baby and children’s clothing store but it will make sense.
Cold Bath Road does indeed have more than its fair share of individual and unique stores and cafes and Tiger Fifty 7 does indeed fit neatly into that street scene with its exterior an eye-catching shade of green and a smiling green tiger logo emblazoned on the fascia. But “edgy”?
“We love the word,” says Georgina. “What we mean is customers can see something different every time and find something they don’t expect to find. It’s also the way we’ve done the interior, it’s not cute and it’s not fluffy.”
Tiger Fifty 7 is one of those classic examples of necessity being the mother of invention; the result of the pair’s shared experience of not being able to find the clothes and toys they wanted to buy for their children. It’s so named because the big cat is not for just girls or just boys and also because it’s the number of the premises on Cold Bath Road.
Georgina says firmly: “Shopping for kids was a nightmare. Online there was nothing different or unique and that’s what we now have with Tiger Fifty 7. Anna and I wanted to do something together and when Dan (Georgina’s husband) saw the store was vacant, it was fate.”
Anna and Georgina met while out in the park with their children and, after realising they were neighbours in Harrogate, a firm friendship began. The venture combines their own work experiences, with Anna having been “in retail forever” and Georgina a nursery teacher. The smart clothes and clever toys they sell are based on the likes and ages of their own children and those of their friends. Anna says: “Our clothing is different; we have a bit of everything from the high-end to the very affordable, for babies through to 14-year-olds. It’s a one-stop shop, we have items for presents downstairs,” she says, adding with a smile: “Not many people realise we have a downstairs too.” For Georgina, keeping Tiger Fifty 7 the way they want it means having a “good eye” for interesting stock so that customers find something they might not expect to find, such as a smart new children’s game from Denmark or range of modern clothes for youngsters from Spain.
They have Instagram and Facebook channels to keep customers informed and showcase the clothes and toys, and they travel to trade shows, meet manufacturers and see the products. They also check that products aren’t on sale in the local area. And with that last remark, the conversation turns back to Cold Bath Road. “We love Cold Bath Road and we’re proud to be here as we feel it sometimes gets overlooked,” says Georgina. “We’re part of that scene where Harrogate’s quirky little shops are coming back. Anna says: “We do things with other indies on the road and be one step ahead so the kids can enjoy themselves. For example, we organised a hunt for 57 Easter stones which were hidden in the shops in the neighbourhood.”
The location of the store, just down from Western Primary School, is also proving crucial as they knew it would and the place has also become a local meeting place, with the downstairs part of the shop being turned into a “chill-out” room for children while parents do the shopping. But the big question, which goes back to how the venture started, is are they are enjoying themselves? “Oh my God, we are having a ball right now,” says Georgina. “It’s got to be fun if you’re working with children.”
This begs another question of course, namely what of the future? The autumn and winter stock is already selected and ordered but for the much longer term, the pair’s ambition is boundless. They can both see that the Tiger Fifty 7 brand has a lot of potential. “We really want to push the brand. We would love to set up a franchise in the future,” says Georgina “And our own label,” says Anna. Clearly, there are no limits to being “edgy”.
Tiger Fifty 7 website: www.tigerfiftyseven.co.uk
Tiger Fifty 7 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tigerfifty7
This post is part of a series where we highlight some of the best independent businesses in and around Harrogate. To read more ‘Spotlight’ posts click here.