OLLIE MCATEER: Horsham fashionistas this way

JPCT 200813 S13341266x Tomoli &Wills,  East Street, Horsham. Tom in new menswear department -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 200813 S13341266x Tomoli &Wills, East Street, Horsham. Tom in new menswear department -photo by Steve Cobb

Once again I had the immense pleasure of chatting to elated students as they collected their A-level results from colleges across the district last week.

As always, the County Times swooped around as many as is physically possible to capture the joy of what has to be one of my favourite events of the year.

There was a surprisingly large turnout of teens despite the fact many prefer to pick up their grades online nowadays.

One of the busiest was Horsham’s College of Richard Collyer.

As a former student, I assign myself to go down there ever year. And I love it.

I chat to the elite who have earned ridiculous results (and are always shuffled out of the sports hall and under my nose by teachers keen to thrust their achievement into the media) and I make a point of chatting to those who didn’t do so well, or have chosen a path other than university.

Certainly throughout my educational life, the teaching made it feel as though the next and only step had to be university.

It’s not for everyone. It definitely wasn’t for me.

My zeal for education dwindled in my late teens - although I still regret not showing up for that Art exam during my final year at Collyer’s (sorry Mrs McAlister). It’s not cool. Stay in school kids.

But it was refreshing this week to meet a young lad who had sat on the conveyer belt to uni, only to discover it wasn’t for him and leave six months later.

Tom East, 19, said he chose to study Business at Bournemouth University last year but found himself ‘forcing my way through the course’.

“It seems like the socially acceptable thing to do is to go to uni, but it’s important to do what makes you happy,” he tells me in the newly converted basement of Horsham clothing shop Tomoli&Will.

The teen left uni earlier this year, and joined hundreds of youngsters in suffering that stressful inbetween-jobs stage.

But a job had been staring at him in the face all along.

In November his mum, Gill, launched a swanky designer clothing store on the corner of East Street, Horsham.

With more than 20 years of marketing experience under her belt, Gill has brought high-end ladies’ brands to the fashionistas of Horsham, all whilst working a full time job.

But now the Plummers Plain resident has stepped it up a gear and stocked the basement with a new men’s range.

And let me tell you, as a young man about town struggling to pick up decent threads in Horsham, this is welcome news.

Tom agrees. That’s why he couldn’t be more thrilled to be heading up the new clothing line.

Admittedly, it’s taken him a while to get used to the shop name which initially sent shivers of embarrassment down his spine.

Tomoli&Will may be mistaken for a posh Italian designer. But Gill named it after her three sons.

Tom was running the show when I spoke to him in amongst the DKNY jumpers and French Connection belts on Monday (August 19).

He’s confident the new range will go down well with Horsham’s men.

“It’s just about getting people in the store,” he continued. “As soon as they’ve seen the new men’s clothing range I’m confident they’ll keep coming back.”

His mum has always intended to launch the range, and the idea has been compounded by bored men slumping into the boyfriend chair as their partners shop.

To all those men: you can now breathe a sigh of relief.

For more information about the store visit http://www.tomoliandwill.com/ tweet @tomoli_will or find them on Facebook. You can also contact 01403 754445.