We put 5 questions to Mark Turner from Donalds’ Menswear
Tell us a bit about your business – how did it get started, how long have you been involved?
“Donalds” first opened it’s doors back in 1984, following Hepworths decision to close it’s Okehampton store. Donald Rooke owned and ran the business until his retirement in 2016. Mark started working with Donald in 2005 as Shop Manager, and began learning all aspects of the business: product knowledge, measuring customers, completing alterations, buying stock, made to measure etc. In September 2016 Mark & Gail Turner became the new owners of Donalds Menswear.
What are you favourite (and least favourite) parts of running your business?
There are many things I enjoy about running my own business: meeting new and catching up with regular customers; the variety of tasks in any given day or week; being responsible for the buying of stock (especially new brands to the shop); and the pride (and some relief!) when these new brands are well received by our customers. Also being part of the local business and wider community.
The least favourite part I would say is losing the “spare” time that used to be spent with family and friends. But along with other challenges that occur, it is something that comes with the territory and is both expected and accepted.
What are your aims and goals for the business in the next 12 months and what are you looking forward to achieving most?
In the next 12 months, we aim to update and grow our online and social media presence, while continuing to offer the same service, range of stock and introduction of new brands and products to the shop. Many will have already noticed the new colour of the shop front and business stationary.
The Okehampton area is generally a great place to live and work – as I have done all my life, and Gail moved to from Tavistock around 19 years ago. So when the opportunity arose to own our own business here, it just seemed right!
Tell us one thing about your business that will surprise people or that you think they wouldn’t otherwise know about it?
Some 100 years ago, the building that Donalds Menswear currently trades from used to be a Bank!