Meet Mark and Thiri Howard – Owners of Disorder
Husband and wife team Mark and Thiri opened Disorder 15 years ago in Needless Alley. Prior to setting up the business, Mark exhibited his own paintings that later formed some of the early designs for the boutique’s clothing and Thiri had a love for clothes and designs, travelling all over the world for inspiration.
The combination of Mark’s artistic qualities and Thiri’s design talent gave them the perfect base to launch the store in 1998 and grow their business based on using only British cloth makers and tailors.
The store stocks a combination of art and graphic work with an oriental twist, Italian cuts and British quirkiness, all in response to its customers needs and desires. The duo also design clothing for upcoming new artists looking for a unique style.
“90% of product sold in the shop is designed by ourselves.”
The store has been awarded several impressive accolades over the years including a Retail Birmingham ‘Style’ award for best independent retailer, a recommendation as one of 5 reasons to visit Birmingham by The Guardian and an endorsement as, ‘one of the cleverest retailers I have seen in the UK in years,’ by international Brand Consultant Mary Portas.
“Birmingham is a big city but feels small and local. The atmosphere around city is fantastic with a community feel.”
When asked what was they believe is the key to success for new independent retailers, the couple advised keeping an eye on costs and negotiating, embracing online activity, always having a USP that will compete with big brands and ultimately treating customers well – good service is very important.
“Our brand is unique, quirky and global in look but made in Britain in a sustainable way.”
There’s lots going on in store this summer – look out for lots of shirts, wrap dresses and t shirt designs by Mark that are inspired by birth of the couple’s son earlier this year.
Find Disorder on Needless Alley – B2 5AE