A breakdancer from the Midlands is living his very own American dream - turning his back on a career in accountancy to launch a fashion business selling clothes from across the Atlantic.
Style- conscious Paul Gittins has opened Dr Flex American Street Trends, in Erdington, selling brandname hip-hop and urban clothes from Ecco, G-Unit, Akademics, Sean John, Rocaware and others.
The 41-year-old from Kingshurst worked as a book-keeper before being made redundant but for many years harboured the ambition of launching his own fashion business.
Now he has achieved his dream thanks to help from the team at the Pertemps Employment Alliance ( PEA) centre, Smith's Wood, near Castle Bromwich.
He was helped into self employment as a trader by PEA after being unemployed for more than three years and entering the New Deal programme.
Mr Gittins was also given advice by employment coaches and provided with nearly £1,900 funding for shop fittings and rental of his unit upstairs at the In Shops market, Erdington.
He said: "I came up with the idea of opening my own fashion shop focusing on American hip- hop and urban clothing and, after carrying out market research, realised that there was potential.
"Everything is imported from the US, including clothing such as tracksuits, t-shirts, jeans, jackets, and jewellery, belt buckles, chains, pendants and lots of other items."
Paul is also a member of breakdance group Broken Silence who have performed at many events including the Mothers Against Guns event in Birmingham last year.