We take a look at the rise of Leeds independent comic store OK Comics and the man who makes the business what it is.
Hidden from the hustle and bustle of Briggate, in Thornton’s Arcade, is OK Comics. The shop houses a wide selection of classic comics and graphic novels set across its two floors. There’s a sofa for relaxing and soaking up the literature the store has to offer, shelves full of mags and a reverent atmosphere. OK Comics provides the perfect environment for any comic book enthusiast.
The daily routine at OK comics consists of preparing the front window of the shop and ensuring the store is in presentable order for customers. OK comics owner Jared Myland described the day to day life of running the comic book store as pressure free, he said: “It is relaxed running your own independent business, more and more people should be encouraged to take the step into owning their own independent business.”
OK Comics – hidden off Briggate – is an antidote to corporate newsagents and big brands.
Going independent can be risky in this day and age with the strangle hold corporate companies have on the business world. However Myland believes there is nothing better than owning an independent business, he explained: “It’s a big step starting your own business, I started off with just £300 and a computer; everything I made I just put back into the business. I was online only for the first couple of years”.
Owning an independent business can provide a freedom that may not be available when working for a big chain or corporation, for instance OK Comics are able to order in whatever comics they feel like. “Sometimes buyers can suggest things that may not appeal to customers however being an independent business I can pick what is popular and my customers are looking to read,” said Jared.
Jared – who built his business with £300 and a computer – cracks open a brand new comic in the comfort of his shop.
For people who want to start their own business, Jared believes it is essential that you work for somebody else first. “Working for somebody else will provide you with the necessary skills when you eventually make the step up to creating your own independent business,” he said.
And, down the line, you could end up as your own boss too. Best. Decision, Ever.
Photos courtesy of Nassr Adris and Cool Places