IT’S Now or Never for an ex-Elvis impersonator who hopes to become an Internet sensation.
For years David Bell, 52, entertained holidaymakers in the pubs and clubs of Alicante with his tribute to The King.
But a heart attack, Type-2 diabetes and osteoarthritis meant David had to climb out of his blue suede shoes.
Without a job for 18 months, he has now set up his online business, which sells Elvis costumes to a worldwide fanbase.
During his impersonator days, David knew only too well how difficult it could be getting hold of the perfect outfit to complete Elvis’ signature style.
David, who has been a fan of the Jail House Rock singer since he heard Return to Sender at the tender age of 15, said: “I used to sing in bars, clubs and pubs in Alicante.
“I always noticed it was difficult to try to find somebody to make jumpsuits and the only place I could get them was America, so it had been on my mind to make my own for all these years.”
David said Elvis’s Aloha white jumpsuit with the eagle has been the most popular outfit of choice for wannabe Way Down singers.
The Washington singer said: “It was a little bit difficult making my own costumes at first, Elvis had some very elaborate outfits. The aloha outfit was very difficult, but everybody knows that one.”
David’s website www.houseofelvis.com was only set up 12 weeks ago but is already receiving 300 hits a day.
He said: “As The King himself would say, ‘It ain’t no big thing but it’s growing’ and really I suppose ‘it’s a matter of time.’”
Health problems meant David was referred to Remploy, which helps those with disabilities back into work.
“Remploy chivvied me up and made me start doing things,” he said.
“I had been self-employed in some capacity all my life, but I had just come to a standstill.”
Staff at Remploy helped David put together a business plan, and after saving up £70 for a sewing machine and further help and funding, David was able to set up his own business.
Now with the help of his wife Trisha he makes and sells tailored jumpsuits, capes and themed shirts for up to £1,200, from a workshop close to their home.
Remploy branch manager David Potts said: “The team here is delighted with David’s progress and success so far with the business.
“It is important to note that here at Remploy we do not just support people into work, but into work that is specifically suitable for them in terms of fulfilling their potential along their desired career path.”
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