I remember back in 2010 having the conversation with my father and co-founder of Northern Soul. I'd suggested we might want a "shop front" as only a few months into starting our website we had local customers wanting to visit our store area. We were "borrowing" a space in an old mill above my screen printer, it was cold, a little damp but a cool space none the less which was slowly turning into a display area as well as storage. Clive AKA Dad told me not to be so stupid, the game is too small for a shop.
Unit 306 became available in Woodend Mill 2, Mossley and despite Clive's doubts, we took the unit and started tearing down old plaster and ripping out windows. Doing what we could to make our new home more presentable with the help of our friend and fellow lacrosse player Ian Ballantine.
Having worked for another UK lacrosse retailer in the past, and knowing how and what others were doing at the time, I am confident in saying we were the first physical lacrosse shop in Europe.
It was basic and at the time many brands just were not interested in opening Northern Soul up to sell their products. Oh how times have changed. We hustled and attended as many tournaments as possible here in the UK and in mainland Europe. I owe a big thank you to Gin & Juice friends and teammates who helped pack, unpack and staff the tents during summer events.
We've put some serious milage in to this company over 13 years of trading so far. Although my father and I have butted heads on occasions over what direction the company takes he has been very supportive and we enjoyed many trips around Europe together. The photo below was taken at silly o'clock in the morning in Amsterdam having driven over from the UK through the night to set up the morning of the Lowlands Tournament. Thank you Dad, I know I have not said it enough over the years.
Northern Soul Sportswear is now the biggest multi branded Lacrosse vendor in the UK and mainland Europe, offering the widest range of all the main brands and specialist products for lacrosse players and coaches.
We are the only multi branded Lacrosse vendor in the UK offering STX, NIKE, GAIT, ECD, StringKing, Maverik, Cascade, True Temper, Epoch and Rage Cage. We also represent a number of smaller niche Lacrosse brands.
We have always employed lacrosse players who understand the product and can advise customers in this very important niche market. Passionate laxers that you will have played with and against. Our staff have been involved at every level of the game from grass roots recruitment to International representation and coaching. We have unmatched knowledge of the products available and the game in all its different variants. There's no two ways about it, we know lacrosse better than any other UK lacrosse store or European retailer.
As we grew, players came from all over the UK and even Europe to visit a bricks and mortar lacrosse store.
It's funny looking at old photos of our store, it's changed so much over the years. Even the lockdowns over Covid could not suppress the growth of the company. We saw this as an opportunity to make some big improvements and actually expanded the shop space by taking on another unit to showcase women's equipment specifically.
Although there was no lacrosse played during the Covid period, we survived as a business and are grateful to all those who supported us during that difficult time.
We offer the best custom pockets you will find outside of the USA and are confident that our stringers can offer customers an unsurpassed range of pockets to suit their game and in many cases improve it.
We were the first to operate a bricks and mortar store dedicated solely to Lacrosse based in Manchester offering the widest selection of custom strung men's and women's lacrosse sticks you will see in any lacrosse store in the World. Although there is a couple more stores now, there's only one UK lacrosse store worth visiting.
Northern Soul has been a family business from day one and will continue to be a family business in the years to come. It's not been easy juggling a growing business with a growing family but I'm trying my hardest to adjust the balance in the right manner.
Nobody could possibly question our passion for the game. You'll not see many offices that basically look like a museum showcasing lacrosse memorabilia and equipment.
We have come a long way since taking our first unit in 2010. When the time comes for our next chapter it will be very sad to leave but Northern Soul must move as it always has.....forward.
“Bringing swagger to a Lacrosse field near you”