Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Fashion is a fickle business, but one sparkling with ambition

Business Editor Margaret Canning
Business Editor Margaret Canning

Fashion is a fickle business – but its giddy younger sister, the accessories game, is even more so.

Perhaps the business of jewellery, scarves, watches and hats could even be described as capricious.

Who could have predicted that this summer, adults who are otherwise perfectly sound of mind would willingly sport brightly-coloured elastic bands on their wrists, after succumbing to the loom bands craze?

Pete Boyle is one man who has cornered the accessories niche, and not a loom band in sight, in his phenomenally successful Argento business. It has become so ubiquitous on our high streets that it's easy to forget that its founder is a man from Strabane who seldom draws attention to his success.

Mr Boyle started as a young entrepreneur selling mirrors at the Ballyshannon Folk Festival in Donegal.

He went on to sell jewellery from stalls at festivals and on beaches, and discovered a knack for spotting what might sell well.

Argento has popularised brands like Pilgrim and Pandora, and is now branching out into manufacturing its own jewellery. But Mr Boyle vows that he never stands still in business, and his trajectory reflects that.

Many of us can remember him selling jewellery from a stall in Belfast city centre.

When street selling was banned, he graduated to a tiny shop in Castle Street before growing more and more with every year – and every trend he was able to capitalise on. As Mr Boyle himself points out, his new megastore will look out across at the Reform Club, a bastion of Ulster business, and is a stone's throw from his first shop. A very nice niche, indeed.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Comment

More

Company Profiles

More

Help & Advice

More

People on the move

More