Get Familiar: STOY
As a small, independent brand, almost all our business is based on personal relationships. As true fans of sneaker culture, we are deeply invested in this retail game. We have strong connections to everyone we work with, and to introduce the people behind the tight circle of global Patta stockists, we decided to include retail partners in our Get Familiar series. This time we're sitting down with Mike, head of buying at STOY, read down below what the Aarhus based retailer had to say.
How did STOY start off?
We started out in 2007 with Jacob and his father, they’ve been working in the industry for many years and once he moved to Aarhus, they decided to open up STOY. It’s been a multi-brand from day one and we launched our website in 2008. Both Jacob and his Father are still active within the company with Jacob being creative director and still doing some of the buying, especially for women apparel. His father mainly focuses on HR and mentors the staff a lot, working at the office for two to three days a week.
How do you think a family running the business changes the way of doing things?
There’s a lot of feelings involved, it’s not strictly business. We do things from the heart and we’re still here, we’re one big family.
What is your draw to retail?
It’s about the connection with the customer, some of them have been customers for so long they now come to the store with their kids and family, that’s beautiful to see.
Why did STOY decide to open up in Aarhus?
We had both Copenhagen and Aarhus in mind, but we were looking for a large space, for the store. So when the opportunity with this space presented itself, we new it had to be Aarhus. Also Jakobs father was located in Jutland, so it made a lot of sense for both of them.
What sets Aarhus apart?
It’s a small, big city if that makes any sense. The population is low but it’s really on the rise. There’s loads of fresh architecture and we have some of the best coffee bars here, combined with the huge university which is why there’s always young people around.
What sets of the vibe in the store?
We really try to create the same family feeling for our customer, we have a small running club, and we throw loads of parties, when it’s allowed of course.
What is the thought behind your brand portfolio?
We’re always very picky when it comes to brands, because we need to have the space to tell its story. It has to be authentic, and we work with a sort of pyramid to keep our brand mix interesting. It’s also about the quality and details, if a jacket looks really nice but the zipper isn’t up to par, it doesn’t work.
How did you find out about Patta back in the days?
We’ve been following you from the sideline ever since the first Nike collab, from a buying perspective I’ve been in both the London and Amsterdam store and immediately told the team here to keep an eye on you guys. We just had to wait for the right time where our store was in a position to tell your story.
If you would have to give one piece of advice for young people trying to set up a brand or open up shop, what would it be?
Remember to have fun, even though it can be though sometimes, keep the itch on what you want to do and stay positive.