You’ve got to take your hat off to Marcel Rodrigues. The former Savile Row apprentice has opened his own clothing and lifestyle store in Nansledan.
Marcel has built an established brand in the hat making industry, creating bespoke luxury headgear for a growing client base.
Now, he has expanded his business, joining forces with wife Becky to open Marcel Rodrigues hatters, clothing and interiors store in Nansledan.
“It’s brilliant here, we love it,” said Marcel, who began his career in London’s Savile Row, an area world famous for its tailors. “Nansledan is new and very different, which is what we like, and the ethos is something we very much want to be a part of.”
Marcel and Becky, both 34, have sustainability at the heart of their firm and many of their products are made using renewable energy. Marcel, a self-taught hatter, has also taken great care to find the right suppliers for the hat making side of his brand.
“When I set this up, I knew I wanted to be a sustainable business and it took me about a year to find the correct suppliers that matched my ethos and what I wanted to create,” said Marcel. “I love the arts and crafts movement and all the cool sustainable brands you get down here in Cornwall.”
Marcel moved to Cornwall from the Cotswolds after persuading wife Becky that the couple and their three young children, aged six, four and two, could enjoy a complete lifestyle change.
Marcel had been working in Savile Row before getting a job in the aviation industry, but he kept thinking about a career in fashion. Realising hats were making a comeback, he began experimenting with creating different styles.
“I taught myself and it was very well received,” said Marcel, who felt confident enough to start his own business. And if he was going to do that, he might as well do it in an amazing part of the world.
“My mother is Portuguese, but I grew up in South Africa by the ocean,” said Marcel. “I wanted that for my children. My sister-in-law was already living in Cornwall and we loved coming to visit.
“Basically, Cornwall was the closest thing I could get to Cape Town!” he added, describing the decision to move. “Becky and I sat down together and thought, we’re just going to do it. You can’t live life with what-ifs, can you?”
Marcel set up a hatters in Hawksfield, Wadebridge, and quickly built up his business.
When the chance came to move to a much larger premises in the heart of a new community in Newquay, the couple knew it was too good an opportunity to miss.
“We love it in Nansledan,” said Marcel, explaining that he picked up the keys to his new shop on December 9th and opened the following day. “It’s exactly what we want and being part of a new community has been so rewarding already.”
“We’ve had lots of positive feedback,” added Becky, a former planning consultant. “It’s been so much better than we ever could have imagined.”
The plan now is to expand the Marcel Rodrigues brand with a furniture range and add to the bespoke clothing service.
“I love waking up in the morning and going to work,” said Marcel. “We must be doing something right.”