The First Few Weeks.

  1. Rob
  2. September 28, 2010 3:27 pm

April 8th 1994.  Bagga finally opens its doors after months of planning, research, and sheer hard work.. I can distinctly remember our very first sale – a toggle fastening shirt from a brand I’d picked up at a show in Birmingham, called Union. The buzz of finally starting to trade was fantastic. Each day was busier, as word of mouth quickly spread in the Bexleyheath area that a “proper” designer Menswear shop had opened. The first Saturday was pretty brisk, and the second Saturday we were mobbed.  Some very colourful characters turned up, including a few guys that would try to outspend each other in a show of consumerist bravado.
Getting to know those first customers was a really enjoyable experience – many of them became fiercely loyal to Bagga, and became friends. It quickly became a Saturday routine to have a few beers after work, with staff and customers.  Sometimes these “quick drinks” resulted in getting home at about 4 a.m, after entering an alcohol-induced “timewarp”.  I’m still close to some of the friends I made in the early days, though the 4 a.m. sessions stopped years ago.

Within the first couple of months of opening, we hosted our first catwalk show at the Barcave restaurant and bar in Chislehurst.  This was a few miles off our “patch”, but the idea was to drag some custom from the affluent area of Chislehurst.  Unless you’ve ever worked on a catwalk show you cannot appreciate the intense workload that’s involved.  The show was very well received, got some local press, and immediately expanded our customer base.

The store opened Tuesday to Saturday back then. Mondays were spent buying, as things were very much hand-to-mouth.  It seems pretty odd that a brand new designer Menswear store closed on a Monday looking back, but it the only way to get out, as full-time staff had not yet joined us.

Things were working very well, and exceeding my expectations…  then disaster struck…….

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