Meet Alan Moore, founder of contemporary tailoring brand, Hunter Kingsley.
Alan recently moved from Glasgow to Ayr with his family, looking to put down roots, and later on taking his business in Glasgow along with him. He shared his experience of moving into a new town without knowing many people, spoke about what it was like integrating himself into the business community in Ayr and using his ‘new outsider’ perspective to do things differently to make people better connected in his community.
Being the Newcomer
Alan and his wife decided to move to Ayr because they would be able to build the kind of life they wanted for their family better there, than they would be able to in Glasgow. However, moving his business to Ayr was not such an easy decision, Alan said, “It was difficult making the decision to move my business here from Glasgow.
There were many things to think about – is there a market for it? Would people from Glasgow come to see me in Ayr? I decided to take a gamble, going against the advice of everyone I knew, and did it anyway.”
There are two sides to being the new person in town, having to make new connections to establish your business but also finding people who you like spending time with and can get along with after hours. Alan admitted that his wife had an easier time finding new friends than him, “She has moved before, from Inverness to Glasgow, I have only ever lived in Glasgow my whole life. I had my core group of friends there and at first, I didn’t really want to make the effort to make new ones.”
When talking about making new friends, Alan admitted that he meets new people mostly through his work. He highlighted that the challenge is taking the relationship from just saying ‘hi’ to someone at work during the day, to actually being friends that go out for pints. “It can be difficult switching off from work chat to making a real connection – having a business and being in the business community, I went to networking events and through that I started to find people I get on well - genuinely well - with.”
It can be difficult switching off from work chat to making a real connection – having a business and being in the business community, I went to networking events and through that I started to find people I get on well - genuinely well - with.
Making a Real Change
The young business owner brought his fresh perspectives, energy and entrepreneurial outlook to Ayr, starting the Ayr High Street Directory, a subscription-based platform for local businesses to promote their work and show those living in Ayr how much they have to offer. Alan explained their approach, “It’s about introducing the businesses on an easy familiar level. Showing that it’s real people behind these businesses, that they’re family-owned businesses, not some giant corporations.”
People can be sometimes resistant to change but Alan didn’t let that stop him, “The Ayr High Street Directory has been met with largely positive feedback. I think that as long as I stay true to what I’m trying to do and I’m honest about what I’m doing – honest about prices for a spot on the directory and transparent about the cost and work that goes into it, no smoke and mirrors - then people respond positively.” The platform has been successful in helping to connect businesses with each other as well. “It’s about drawing on all the good services in the town and promoting them to people outside of the town. People spend their money in the town and the money stays in the town, instead of making money in the town but spending it outside the town.”
Alan takes a proactive approach to making a change in the community. He said that people have been complaining about there not being enough shops or shops selling locally made art and craft, so he decided to open a store in town which will stock the work of local crafts people and artists. Commenting on what might help to make the local community better, Alan said, “There is a need for more collaboration, less thinking about things but instead be proactive, have a vision, do it, stick to it and try to do it best as you can.”
The Ayr High Street Directory has been met with largely positive feedback. I think that as long as I stay true to what I’m trying to do and I’m honest about what I’m doing – honest about prices for a spot on the directory and transparent about the cost and work that goes into it, no smoke and mirrors - then people respond positively.
There are a lot of exciting things in store for Alan and the Ayr High Street Directory. The new store stocking locally made crafts, showcasing how much talent is in the region is opening soon called nu High Street. He’s also collaborating with local pubs, planning on doing a Beer Tour later in the summer. The tour will take people around historically significant spots in Ayr, taking about interesting stories and history of the town and how they coincide with what was happening in the beer and drink industry and talk about beer.