Two former Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) students have embarked on a career in high end retail and are now reaping the rewards as their vintage online clothing store takes off with international and celebrity sales.
Twenty two year-old Robin Page and friend Tom Townsend, 24 both from Stockton, set up Atik Vintage in February this year, with an online store now generating over 20,000 followers and a clothing outlet at Hartlepool Enterprise Centre.
The students met in 2011 while studying for their graphic design diplomas at CCAD’s Middlesbrough campus. Both found the course very inspiring and it was at this point that the origins of their business first came about, as they already had an interest in the fashion industry and selling designer clothing to one another.
In 2016 Robin went on graduate with a degree in graphic design from CCAD’s university-level campus in Hartlepool, while Tom studied graphic design at Northumbria University.
It was during the summer of 2016 that Robin and Tom began to trial their business idea and their entrepreneurial spirit and ideas began to take shape. Whilst they both really enjoyed graphic design, they decided it was not the industry they wanted to purely focus on at that time but to somehow incorporate it into their love of vintage fashion.
Robin, who now lives in Hartlepool, explains: “After graduation I set up as a freelance graphic designer and I had regular contracts to design magazine layouts and create band animations. Although I enjoyed it, the client-side could be challenging, and didn’t really allow me to express myself creatively, so I decided to channel that creativity into something I loved, collecting vintage clothing and predicting future fashion trends.”
While retaining his own graphic design business, Robin and Tom took the plunge this year and launched Atik Vintage as an online store through the app ‘depop’, and a small shop at the Enterprise Centre in Hartlepool. Robin also went on to do a Prince’s Trust Business course through the Hartlepool Enterprise Centre which helped him to understand the administration side of the business.