Tattoo designs without the ink proving a hit

Sarah Burgan, who has set up a clothing company inspired by tattoos called Fulwood London.
12th July 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Sarah Burgan, who has set up a clothing company inspired by tattoos called Fulwood London. 12th July 2017. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Millennials have an advantage when it comes to exploiting business opportunities around subcultures as they have their finger on the pulse, according to a young entrepreneur selling tattoo inspired streetwear.

Sarah Burgan, who launched Fulwood London in 2015, says that contrary to stereotypes, millennials are actually hard working.

Sarah Burgan, who has set up a clothing company inspired by tattoos called Fulwood London.
12th July 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sarah Burgan, who has set up a clothing company inspired by tattoos called Fulwood London. 12th July 2017. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Fulwood London produces hoodies and T-shirts featuring tattoo designs from upcoming artists.

Ms Burgan came up with the business idea after realising that there was a gap in the market with people wanting nice designs without the lifelong commitment of tattoos. There is also the cost of tattoos that may stop people from getting inked.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, she said: “We’ve got our finger on the pulse much more so than older people. Despite what everyone says about millennials we work really hard.

“A lot of my peers now are running their own business.”

The 28-year-old believes that her generation has a much more “go do” attitude when it comes to striking out on their own.

The lack of opportunities post-recession has also played a part in many younger people deciding to work for themselves, says the young entrepreneur.

“I graduated in 2012 so that was peak recession time, nobody was hiring. It took me a year to get my first job,” Ms Burgan said.

After graduating from Ravensbourne University with a BA in Menswear Design, she eventually ended up working for menswear firm Berwin & Berwin at its London office.

“One of the prompts for me to start my own business was that it was time for me to move on from Berwin & Berwin and there wasn’t really any jobs around,” Ms Burgan said.

Launching her own business led her to up sticks, return to her home city of Leeds and take up space at Entrepreneurial Spark.

Ms Burgan said: “I started the brand and I was working from home so I was quite isolated and office space down there is crazy expensive, even co-working and hot desking.

“I thought if I moved home I could use the money I’d saved on an office space and it would give me that social interaction.

“Even just bouncing ideas off people is beneficial. It has really helped me grow the business.”

Ms Burgan is deeply immersed in tattoo culture and has five of her own.

She said: “It’s not just the art. The majority of people will get a tattoo for a particular reason. It might not be obvious but it has a meaning behind it.

“I get mine when I’m particularly happy or something great has happened in my life so I can remember that.”

Ms Burgan said she would have more tattoos of her own if money wasn’t a factor.

“I only have five,” the 28-year-old said. “Mostly because I can’t afford them. Hence why I launched the clothing range. I can have a different one every day.”

What do her parents make of her tattoos?

“They hate them. They say that I’ll regret them when I’m older and all that jazz. I really don’t think I will.”

Ms Burgan’s aim with Fulwood is to open up a store in London over the next five years. At the moment the entrepreneur sells through her own website and at tattoo conventions.

“I want to grow the brand, I want to be able to offer a full range of products and not just T-shirts and hoodies,” she added.

Ms Burgan wants to create denim and leather jackets with tattoo inspired designs as well.

“Hopefully, we can break down that barrier people seem to have with tattoos, especially the older generations,” she said.

Fulwood commissions up and coming tattoo artists to create designs to adorn her range of streetwear. “I give them £45 to £50 per print they give me and then I own all the rights to it to do what I like,” she says.

Ms Burgan has always been passionate about design. “I used to make clothes out of bin bags and put on fashion shows for my family,” she says.

Since moving back to Leeds, Ms Burgan has also found a passion for weightlifting and is taking coaching qualifications.