SOUTH WEST VIBES - BEATS WORKIN'
Ask anyone what springs to mind when you mention Devon and Cornwall and most probably you will be hit literally with cream teas, ice cream, bell ends doing stag do's in Newquay and errrrrr floods?! However, there's a lot more than meets the eye to a region that actually hosts one of the biggest followings of King Apparel in the country.
To be completely honest, the number of good street and skate stores in the South Westerly tip of the country can be counted on less than two hands. Dominated historically by surfing, most stores thrived on the coat tails of an industry that in the last 5-10 years has fallen horribly on its arse. And where one scene has waned so another has prospered and stores such as Beats Workin' in the North Devon town of Barnstaple are testament to this.
Combining a mixture of street, skate, fashion and a deep rooted involvement in the areas music scene has meant that owner and founder Glenn Field has developed a long standing and loyal customer base that caters for everyone from mid Cornwall all the way to the borders of Somerset. Following a recent refit that includes reclaimed wood work, original wood paneled floor boards, heritage storage shelving, rag industry props and a neat network of scaffold piping the shop is a treasure trove of all the best sneakers, skate hardware and apparel that anyone could wish for.
Not only does it stock many brands that stores in London would do well to think about bringing in, the shop has close ties to the local skate park and scene and Glenn can often be found promoting and DJ'ing his own nights in Barnstaple and further afield (his Reggae mixes are legendary - in fact Glenn did the King Apparel Reggae mix series CD a couple of years back).
In an industry that has an ever changing landscape with multiple stores becoming more influential and independents struggling to find their point of difference its refreshing to be able to do business with the real deal - a store that is over 10 years deep, holds a plethora of credible brand knowledge and is able to combine an increasingly successful business whilst embracing just how important their role in the wider scene really is. Salute to Beats.