In the second instalment in our 'meet the neighbours' series looks, we meet Anthony Hick, owner of Assembly.
Assembly offers a handpicked selection of clothing and accessories that champion British design, heritage, and manufacturing alongside a few classic pieces from the near continent.
Products are picked not just for their aesthetic but also their story. Whether it's Welsh made organic jeans and hand finished socks, a 100% recycled sweatshirt or underwear stitched with renewable energy. Provenance and a relationship with the maker is key.
Tell us a little about yourself and your shop?
Anthony: I have a background in Fashion and Fashion Retail with a degree in Fashion. I worked for Red or Dead for fix-six years in London, as well as several independent boutiques. So, after moving to the West, I decided to put all my knowledge of the industry into starting my own business and opening my own store.
How do you source the brands that you stock in Assembly?
Anthony: Ever since I started, I wanted to champion British brands, British manufacturing and British fabrics. I took that as my starting point and have built the shop very organically from there, opening with homeware to begin with. I did some classic pieces: glassware, enamelware, recycled blankets, this then progressed into menswear, accessories and grooming products. There are few exceptions such as AmorLux, which is a French brand, but they use ethically sourced fabrics and organic cotton so it still fits with the store’s ethos.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anthony: I’ve taken my ideas from what I see around me. I’ve always wanted the store to be quite masculine, quite industrial, yet laid-back and warm. I think the store always looks great in winter – I have a slight obsession with knitwear, wool and coats – the store looks really strong in the winter evenings with subtle lighting. I want it to be a welcoming and warm place to shop.
What is your favourite thing about Frome?
Anthony: I think my favourite thing about Frome, apart from the fact I walk to work, which is amazing, is that it’s a small place filled with lots of like-minded people and it’s just a really interesting little town. To me, it feels like the best mix of a small town with elements of a big city.
What are your Frome recommendations?
Anthony: So personally, it’s coffee and hanging out at Moo and Two, which is just up the hill from here. Dinner at Sam’s Kitchen which is down the hill from here. Evening drinks at Palmer’s Street Bottle. For shopping; Resident, Kushi, Gent Street to name just a few. It’s one of those places where you can get virtually everything you need and want all on foot without going very far afield. If you drop down into the centre of town, there is the most amazing greengrocers too. It’s like a very old-school way of shopping which I really like.