“You won’t sell any!” Said my mum when she first heard about what has now become HebTroCo. “Moleskin trousers are only £40 in Marks & Spencer” she continued, pouring scorn on my latest harebrained scheme to keep the grandchildren in the conditions to which they haven’t become accustomed.
Of course it wasn’t the first time that I hadn’t paid any attention to anything she said. Over the years the things she told me that I’d found wasn’t so were starting to form a long list.
“Don’t go out with wet hair”
“Don’t eat before you go swimming”
“Don’t keep doing that, it’ll fall off”
So of course, like most mums, she has a track record for this. But I did take her thought with a pinch. Had my mum guided me by telling me what NOT to do?
My mum’s mum was awesome. Granny opened the second ever Oxfam shop, in Sale, Manchester, and actually helped me make my first pair of trousers, when I was about four years old. Not for me – for my teddy bear.
Grandad was a safety inspector for the mills in the area that we now working. Inspecting steam boilers pressure testing making sure things are safe in the factories.
They brought my mum up in that era make do and mend. Off of them taught me about valuing things made with quality. About always buying good tools. About not trusting a builder who won’t put his name on the side of his van.
When people look at our stuff, lots of people ask about value, ask about cost, and ask about whatever, and answer really is it’s just nice to have nice things. Good tools.
For us, it’s more than just a quality product. The products that we make are like a talisman supporting British industry, British manufacturing, British fabric, British workers. Yes, you can buy cheaper in Marks & Spencer’s, we’re giving an option if you want it.
I’m off to my mums this afternoon to wish her a happy Mothering Sunday, and give her something nice from a local photographer who makes nice things too. Yes it’s just a photo of the sheep but it’s a really lovely photo of a sheep. My dad will be there – he ended up buying a pair of trousers on our Kickstarter, then lent us £5000 when we needed early investment. My ace brother will be there too, and they’ll both be wearing Hebtroco trousers. Which is great, and she loves it now.
First though I’m going to have a big breakfast and go for a swim.
Have a great day.
(the tall bald one)