Former salesman creates clothes to celebrate Portsmouth life featuring flagship Pompey sailor
INSPIRED by his love of his home city, Gary Millard has created a range of clothing celebrating Portsmouth and its quirks.
Former salesman Gary has travelled the world and had various jobs but he said Portsmouth has always held a special place in his heart.
When his friend was working in Bangladesh a couple of years ago, Gary seized upon the opportunity to get him to make some T-shirts and the idea has grown from there.
Today, Gary has scores of designs available on his website – drunkensailor.uk – and his products are stocked at shops across the city.
Gary, 56, said: ‘We decided to try and see if we could make some clothes out there to sell here in UK.
‘The first thing I designed was a black Albert Road T-shirt. It had all the pubs in pub-crawl order, screen-printed on the back, so that it looked like a band's tour t-shirt.
‘These were then given to the pubs to sell and they proved very popular.
‘After that we then made some caps and it’s grown from there.’
As well as T-shirts and caps, Gary has made mugs, face masks, bags and hoodies.
Gary, who lives in Southsea, said his favourite design is a sailor character based on Popeye.
He said: ‘As a passionate Pompey fan, our flagship design is the Pompey Sailor as seen on the wall of City Plumbing on Goldsmith Avenue.’
Another thing that Gary is proud of is the source and quality of his clothes.
He said: ‘I have always been a champion for environmental issues. All the clothing on our website is from organic cotton. That was very important to me.’
Gary has also used his business as a force for good – selling his products to raise cash for the Rainbow Centre in Fareham and also for Rowans Hospice.
Now he hopes his business will expand across the south – and he has plans for more designs based on London, and hopes to take on other seaside resorts such as Brighton and Torquay.
Despite his ambition, Gary said his heart lies with Portsmouth.
He said: ‘I have travelled all over the world but England is always my favourite place, and Portsmouth holds a special place in my heart.
‘I was brought up here. The people are great, real salt of the earth people, and when you stand on the top of the hill and look down across the city, you can see your life on that island.
Some of Gary’s designs can be found in Southsea Scene and Good Karma on Albert Road.
For more go to drunkensailor.uk