Ursa Minor Apparel is an independent clothes shop found in Cobden Chambers (next to Bodega) in the Hockley area of the Nottingham City Centre. Impact Style chatted with the shop’s owner, Claire.
Could you tell me when and why you decided to open Ursa Minor Apparel?
I opened Ursa Minor Apparel in August last year, having run various businesses before that. I wanted to open in Nottingham because I wanted to offer something different that wasn’t available to the local customers. There are very few independent labels for clothing, especially for women in the city centre [of Nottingham] and so I wanted to offer products and an experience that was not widely available to locals. I chose to open in the Hockley area where many other independent businesses are found.
Ursa Minor carries quite a few different labels, could you tell me which brands you carry in store?
I stock a variety of brands that are not offered anywhere else in Nottingham. The brands include Lazy Oaf, which is brilliant. Their designs are fun, colourful and creative which is what Nottingham is all about, or at least should be (laughs). Others include Ragged Priest, UNIF, Long Clothing, This is a Love Song, Kuccia, Melody Ehsani, Local Heroes, Sugar Hill Boutique and Poppy Lux. Since there are already quite a few vintage and charity shops in Nottingham, I decided I would focus only on carrying brands.
“I’m not exclusive at all – I don’t believe in judging any of my customers”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but do you only sell womenswear?
We do mostly womenswear, but we do carry a small collection of menswear. There are a few other independent shops in Nottingham that already carry menswear, like Montana and Mimm Clothing, so I didn’t want to focus too much on men’s clothes. But I do want to offer a small variety to the boyfriend who enters the shop with his girlfriend, or for women who come into the shop looking for gifts for men. We stock a Berlin based brand called The Dudes and a small range of Lazy Oaf designs for men. We try to be inclusive and actually, women buy quite a lot of the men’s T-shirts!
Is there a particular type of customer that you cater for? For example, the ‘customer’ gravitates towards a particular type of style?
That’s a really hard question because I’ve always wanted my shop to be inclusive; I’m not exclusive at all. I don’t believe in judging any of my customers. There are some shops where the salespeople look you up and down, making the customer feel as though they aren’t welcome. I’m not one of those people. I don’t want to create an environment in my shop that feels pretentious. I will sell anything in the shop to anybody who wants to purchase the items; who comes in and is looking for pieces that are a bit more “fun”. But I’d say that a typical customer is somebody that is interested in fashion, interested in quality, looking for something different and is a bit creative.
Ursa Minor will be closing on the 31st of July, so be sure to pop into the shop before that. They are currently having a 20% discount on all items in store. Selected items are being sold at a 50% discount. More information can be found on their website: http://www.ursaminorapparel.co.uk
Claire Elizabeth Seah
Image: Claire Elizabeth Seah