It was a sunny day in April 2015 when I first visited Mr and Mrs Doom, a new alternative clothes and apparel shop here in Edinburgh. When I reached the shop, I was greeted by Nicky, or Mrs Doom, who with volumes of red dreadlocks certainly looks the part of alternative shop owner. Inside I was introduced to her husband and partner in crime Dan, Mr Doom, who towering well over 6ft and with an uncanny resemblance to one Phil Anselmo, completes the couples look – one that is reflected in their shop logo.
However, with only one week left until doors were due to open, there wasn’t much to see in the way of an actually functioning shop?
The next time I met up with Mr and Mrs Doom was on the day of their official launch. This time as I approached the shop, I am greeted by familiar faces from throughout the Edinburgh alternative scene, who have descended upon this small and humble shop to show their support and find out what Mr and Mrs Doom are all about.
To find out more about Mr and Mrs Doom we met up to get the low down on their big and ambitious plans for their new venture.
1. First off, who are Mr and Mrs Doom and what is your story?
Dan and I are a bit of a mixed bag, though we met, lived and got married in London, Dan is originally from Edinburgh, I am from Germany, and have been in the UK for half of my life. After we got married last year, we decided to move to Edinburgh, Dan was keen on going back home, and I’ve been a bit of nomad for most of my life. What started as a bit of a vague idea, ended up in a pretty quick move, it all happened within the space of a few
months, and we’ve been living up here for about 6 months now.
2. When and how did the idea for Mr and Mrs Doom come about?
After the last few years of working in Hospitality and with that, crazy hours, I had enough. Dan was working in Telecommunications and pretty much felt the same. My mum and I opened a shop 10 years ago, Vintage Shrewd in Dorking, which specialises in wearable and original vintage items, and we really just wanted to work for ourselves. We were originally going to open a second branch of Shrewd, but the idea kept evolving, and before long it turned into what Mr & Mrs Doom has become – the kind of shop we wanted to go to. It doesn’t really cater to just one specific target audience. Yes, it’s alternative, but not the kind you find these days. We are now in our 30s, but that doesn’t mean our basic style or interests have changed. We are still alternative, but with a grown up style and a disposable income. We aren’t teenagers anymore, and we don’t necessarily want to dress like them either. Dan being 6’5 and not a small guy, we also wanted to include that demographic.
Trying to find decent and nice clothing for Dan outside of the States is near enough impossible, and that needed to change. Mr & Mrs Doom is a little eclectic on paper – alternative, vintage, rockabilly and streetwear, but in practice, all of these things fit together beautifully, and represents both Dan and myself.
3. Why did you choose Edinburgh as the location for the Mr and Mrs Doom, what do you like about Edinburgh and the alternative scene here.
Dan has always wanted to come back to Edinburgh, and I fell in love with the place on previous visits. Teamed with parts of Dan’s family and his friends living here, it just seemed to make sense. I am still exploring the scene – 6 months here and not a lot of free time means it takes a little longer to really see and try everything, but the alt scene is so close knit here, everyone is super friendly, supportive and wants to get involved, what more could you want.
4. Tell us about the journey from idea to opening – what you have learned and what have you experienced opening Mr and Mrs Doom
We always knew opening a shop is hard work, but that is definitely an understatement. There were so many obstacles and things we hadn’t considered, but we have had so much amazing support. My mum came up for a couple of weeks, and all of our friends especially Beej – an honorary Doom, really pulled out all the stops to make sure we could make it happen.
5. Tell us about the shop – You aim to support independent home grown brands, who do you have in stock so far?
We already stock a bunch of brands, some independent, and others that aren’t as easy to find, such as Dickies and Prison Blues. We are firm believers that independents should support other independents! We currently stock Catholic Guilt, Dead Pretty Taxidermy, Merlin’s Beard and BakuForest Studios who are all small independent businesses, CRMC Clothing and Seduced by Lilith who are Edinburgh based are also in the works. On top of this, we also have artwork from local artists, and we are constantly sourcing new and exciting brands and products!
6. What do you think sets Mr and Mrs Doom apart from other alt-shops?
I don’t think we can be classified as a typical alt-shop. We don’t focus on a specific type of alt. Whether it’s streetwear, rockabilly or vintage you’re into, we’ve got something for everything. We’re more of a grown-up alt-shop. We don’t discriminate against whatever your style you might be, what size you are, we are really trying to provide a little haven for those of us who grew up as metalheads, goths etc, but are now a bit older, but still not willing to wear a suit and tie.
7. You opened your doors on the 1st of May, we had the pleasure of attending your launch event – how do you think it went, were you surprised by the support? How was the reception from the locals, any positive feedback?
We were completely blown away by the support! We have such a great Doom family, who have all worked their asses of to spread the word. We had so many people in attendance, from friends and family to locals popping down. Everyone genuinely seems excited about what we’re doing, and everyday someone new pops in to have a chat and see what we’re all about.
8. Now that you are open, what are your plans for the shop going forward?
We are constantly sourcing new stock, so we’ll always have something new to come and look at. We are still in the process of sorting out getting a small tattoo studio in our basement, we also have CutieCoolNails in store, which has been a great addition, and we have some exciting collaborations with small brands in the pipework. We’re doing everything we can to make this a success, and to make sure everyone loves the shop as much as we do!