Beasley’s Clothing is a small family run business; it is the longest established independent vintage store in Hull, situated in the beautiful Hepworth’s Arcade which is a hidden gem in the old town of Hull, walking through the arcade from Silver Street you turn the corner and straight ahead you are greeted with Beasley’s, I first started shopping there back in 2015, always feeling cool walking through town afterwards with my bright yellow “Beasley’s” carrier bag, feeling like a fashion icon!
The vintage shop is managed by Bobby Beasley and his family. It has been running for 30 years plus, they also have a hat store opposite their vintage clothing store in Hepworth’s Arcade. Beasley’s is all about Selling all kinds of vintage clothing from Dickies to Carhartt, they also sell independent clothing for other businesses, and they also have their own branded clothing and accessories, including the classic Beasley’s Tee and tote bag.
When entering the store, you are always greeted with a friendly smile and hello, and I always get a warm, homely feeling when I’m in the store as it’s somewhat cosy especially in winter after you come off the street into the store. Downstairs is all the branded clothing they have on offer such as Dickies, Carhartt, Ben Davies and other well-known American brands. Upstairs is packed full of shirts, blouses, dungarees, football jerseys, jackets, all sorts! Which are all original American vintage clothing, not one piece is the same as the other.
I have followed Beasley’s clothing on Instagram for a long time, and I also follow Bobby Beasley who is a local artist/ photographer. Their Instagram is quite active in advertising what they have in store, whether it be new vintage stock just shipped from America or some monkey boots they have in stock, the wide variety is why it has been so successful for so many years.
Beasley’s survived through various lockdowns in which they had to close the store which was a difficult time for the family but using their website to their advantage they were able to sell more online to customers during the lockdown. It is important that people shop independently to keep these amazing businesses thriving, especially after the couple of years we have had, independent businesses need the support now more than ever. Also, it is an economical thing to shop independently and retro/vintage, “second hand” as fast fashion is bad for the planet and what is better than knowing you have a unique shirt or jacket that no one else has! That’s my favourite thing about shopping in vintage stores, especially Beasley’s because they have their clothing shipped from the USA and you are more likely than not to buy a rare piece. Personally, I don’t want to be wearing something that everybody else has so if you like to have unique clothing that is rare and affordable then Beasley’s is the perfect place for you!
Bobby has been running the retailer with his mum and dad since he can remember, I managed to sit down and talk to him, Bobby told us some of the things that make being an independent clothing store so important:
“You’re looking after yourself and that’s something to be proud of, I grew up with it all, the idea of being independent from everybody else. It meant we could do what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it”
Family means everything to the business, and this is emphasised through everything they do and believe in at Beasley’s:
“It is just great working with the family, you can just be as honest with each other as you possibly want, you don’t have to hold back on how things are!”
Bobby is proud of how far the vintage clothing store has come, from when his mum and dad started it off in kings market in old town before it moved to Hepworth’s Arcade, he considers it one of his many career highlights so far and in his personal life, Bobby’s photography career is doing well:
“Still having the shop running strong from 1978 to now, that’s something that I’m really, really proud of. Also, with my photography side of things, that seems to be going well because of the shop going forward and things.”
As we all know the past lockdowns have put a strain on local businesses all over the world, to narrow it down to Hull many independent shops have taken a hit and have had to close, luckily enough Beasley’s were able to get through it, Bobby believes now we’re on the other side of it there has been more support towards independent businesses:
“It almost feels like now we’re back out of it, there’s more of a swing for people seeing independent shopping more, it’s a really positive thing coming back and having people coming in.”
For anyone else thinking about starting a vintage clothing store of their own, it does take time, but the outcome can be very rewarding as Bobby Beasley knows:
“You’ve got to be passionate about the thing you want to do, whether it’s to sell or promote. If it’s not in you, then I think you’ll find it hard.”
Visit in store at 17 Hepworth’s Arcade, Silver Street, Hull. Or check out their website at www.beasleysclothing.co.uk
Words and interview: Katie Lovatt