Edward Teabelly x FatKidOnFire - Interview #116

Edward Teabelly x FatKidOnFire

Interview #116

It’s been another long week at the new job (and it’s only Tuesday) and it’s nearly my bedtime – so I’m going to keep this intro brief and let Chris do the talking. Don’t skip this interview with a British Johnny Cupcakes-esque brand, there’s a cheeky discount for all you awesome FKOF readers at the bottom…

Time for another brand feature! It seems we’ve come across some great indie brands coming out of the UK lately, it’s good to see these tough economic times are still providing opportunities for people. This next brand is one I have a real soft spot for, due to its fun vibe and the fact it’s not shy about having a sense of humour. Not only is it fun, but it’s decidedly British too; after all, could a brand called Edward Teabelly have come from anywhere else…?!

There’s nothing more British than a good ol’ cup of tea, and that’s what fuels this brand (in case the name hadn’t given it away). Founded by Dave Young, Edward Teabelly is a brand that caught my eye when it launched, and I’m pleased to finally be able to sit down over a metaphorical brew and find out more about the brand. So, pop the kettle on and have a read! Dave’s also been kind enough to give us an exclusive discount code, included at the end of the article…

Who is Edward Teabelly? Quite simply, Edward is a jolly English soul who has a slight addiction to a good ol’ cup of tea. I guess you could say Edward Teabelly is an alter ego of myself that developed from my love of clothing, design and tea!

Talk us through the decision to bring Edward to life in the form of a clothing brand… The idea for a clothing line was something that was always there. I’ve had a passion in the art/ design fields for as long as I can remember and have always had an interest in creating my own clothing. Ever since I went to college! So it seemed right for me to go in that direction.

I played around a lot with ideas but always knew that I wanted a clothing line to have some sort of identity, theme and feel to it. I felt there were many clothing lines that put out some great shirts and nice products – but at times seemed miss-matched and didn’t feel like a ‘brand’ at all, more like a collection of random designs on shirts. 

The name itself came from my housemates back in university. The guys I lived with noticed how much tea I drank so they began calling me ‘Teabelly’ which pretty much stuck straight away. As time went on I began playing with more ideas, names, logos and that led me to using my middle name, Edward. Edward Teabelly just seemed to have a nice ring to it so that was pretty much settled straight away. 

The logo sparked into life straight away once the name had been decided on. I had visions in my head of a typical jolly looking English gent with an obsession for tea (me!). I saw him as a sort of mascot really who could be the face, and eventually the logo of the brand. The final trademarked logo you see today is pretty much the way I originally sketched him out on a note pad from the beginning. 

I felt having a brand based around my own personal obsession with tea would allow me to create a fun, cool and exciting brand with quirky and interesting ideas – whilst still including inspirations from other things I love yet still keep that street wear edge and feel to the brand. 

What’s the reaction been like towards the brand? The reaction has been amazing, and in all honesty totally exceeded anything I imagined. When I started playing with ideas I just wanted to create a clothing brand that was fun and quirky but still a cool streetwear apparel line, so to have all the amazing comments of support sent our way has been really mind-blowing.

Like anything, there is negativity out there, no one likes every brand out there and like a lot of other lines so I get my fair share of criticism – but I always see it as a good thing. I always take it as constructive criticism which really helps me to grow, expand and improve the brand in all aspects; making a positive from a negative!

How do you view the UK streetwear scene at the moment? Like anything we go through fads and fazes where things come in and out of fashion quicker then I can say ‘brews up’. You do see a lot of clothing brands popping up more now which isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s great!

But there are a good amount who tend to take less risks with their creations and seem to play it safe I think. On the flip side though there are some really great brands out there right now, whether they are long time established or not. The streetwear scene is exciting at the moment for indie brands and for lines like ours which are still growing it can only get better.

What inspires and motivates you? I get inspiration for designs and products from just about anywhere and anything really. Whether it’s old toys and comic books, cartoons or movies from my childhood, I’ve always had a fondness for any sort of vintage signage too. Many styles of typography catch my eye and old illustration work from the 40s and 50s are awesome! I’ve found myself obsessed with old packaging with amazing art work for a long time too which has led me to buy a lot of boxes, tins, tea caddies and so forth just because of the cool vintage design.

Expanding and really growing the brand is what motivates me. I have so many design and product ideas I get really excited just thinking about the many possibilities that lay ahead.

Where do you see your brand in, say, 5 years time? Any long term goals? I think in 5 years time I would like to see Edward Teabelly really grow and expand into a successful brand with plenty of high quality, fun and unique products.

In terms of long term goals there are products I am looking into from our very own cut and sew pieces to collectable vinyl toys and kitchenware.

Other fun ideas range from pop up shops and tea parties to a flagship store/ tea shop – any of those someday would be really great. A fun place for people to come hang out have a brew (and maybe a cake) and check out a nice selection of goodies in hand!

Kettle’s on, what are you having…? As I am 100% Yorkshire born and bred I’d say Yorkshire Gold without a doubt! There’s just something about this local brew that keeps my ideas bubbling!

And lastly, any shoutouts? Yes of course, a big thank you to all those people who have supported me and have gotten to know me and my brand in the last year. Without any of you we literally wouldn’t have gotten where we are today! I would also like to say a big thanks to Benjamin Scrivens and John and Lorraine Earle for the great tips and business advice in the very beginning! Thanks.

Dave is a guy with a lot of great ideas, and he’s managed to do a few cool things in the relatively short space of time his brand has been in existence. I hope he can drive the brand on to enjoy the success he plans, and that his long term goals become realities; if (when…?!) an Edward Teabelly flagship tea shop opens up, I’m there!

If you fancy supporting Edward too, jump on over to the store and pick something up here, follow him on the usual TumblrFacebook and Twitter.

If you do find yourself ordering something from the store, have a 20% discount on us! Just enter the code ‘FATKIDSBREW‘ at checkout to receive 20% off your order until the end of November.

Shop independent and British!

Hit Chris up on Twitter (or you can have a chat with me on @FatKidOnFire) or shout away in the comments if you enjoyed his latest post!

And if you’re a brand looking for exposure, why not drop Chris an email?