AN ENTREPENEURIAL pair of childhood friends have been left on the brink after burglars stole thousands of pounds worth of stock following a successful first Christmas on the High Street.
Steve Terry and Darren Wolf launched YEUK in Marlow in August, selling a range of skateboard-inspired fashion as well as their own branded clothing.
The friends, who met aged 10 met while skateboarding, took the plunge onto the High Street after making a success of their first venture in Henley.
And after a bumper period of sales over the Christmas period, the business partners were devastated to find thieves had ransacked the shop when they opened up after the new year break.
Darren, 34, who grew up in Marlow and Maidenhead, said: "We came in after new year and found the shop in an absolute state.
"Everything was scattered everywhere, and because there was torrential rain, everything was soaked.
"We haven’t worked out the exact amount yet, but there’s around 13 to 14 thousand pounds worth of stock gone.
"They took about 200 pairs of jeans and 65 caps. They even thumbed through the rails to pick out the right sizes.
"We’ve never been on a high street before so didn’t know what to expect but all things considered our Christmas was really good.
"This is our brand and our hard work and seeing all our clothes muddy and all over the floor ended the year on a really sour note."
Police confirmed the shop was broken into sometime between 8pm on December 31 and 10am on January 2, with officers still hunting the culprits.
Police spokesman Hannah Williams said burglars managed to gain entry after climbing onto the roof and stole clothes including jeans, jackets, hats and sunglasses.
Although covered by insurance, the burglary has left the pair struggling to afford new stock while they wait to be compensated.
The skateboarding fanatics, who design their own clothing, were forced to close after the break-in and lost two full days of trading.
And 34-year-old Steve, who moved to Henley from Dublin as a boy, said it is touch and go for the business they worked so hard to create.
He said: "It’s make or break now basically. We just started to get our heads above water in our first year and we have to pay up front for all our stock.
"It’s now about getting the money back and trying to survive. I was in bits for a few days thinking the dream we’ve had since the age of 10 could end overnight.
"We’re trying to create a brand that people can be proud of and also have access to, a brand that was born here.
"We’d like to thank all our loyal customers who have been bearing with us while we slowly try to grow."