Back in 2014 I had the idea of designing a few Nottingham themed t-shirts, with an emphasis on sweatshop free clothing. I decided to take the plunge and make the idea a reality, purchasing a handful of t-shirts from a manufacturer in Leicester and getting these screen printed by a local company. It was a real learning curve having never designed a t-shirt before, such as knowing where to position the design and ensuring that the design could actually be screen printed. I had some t-shirts printed but only made a handful of sales, lacking any real on-line presence or even a brand.
In late 2014 I was walking through the Broadmarsh shopping centre when I encountered the Made In Nottingham pop-up shop. I happened to mention in passing that I had designed a few shirts, and was offered the chance to have a few in store. Armed with just a handful of t-shirts, a few value hangers and a cheap clothes rail, I managed to get a few t-shirts on sale just in time for Christmas.
In late 2015, the Made In Nottingham store reopened and I was once again offered the chance to sell some clothes in store. Armed with a few more designs and a proper identity, sales quickly took off, resulting in weekly trips to the screen printers in the run-up to Christmas. At this point, the intention was only to be in store on a temporary basis, however sales continued into the new year, resulting in Lazy Bass becoming more of a permanent fixture.
In 2016 Lazy Bass moved to the Made In Nottingham Threads store, which specialised in streetwear. The brand appeared at Nottingham Fashion Week along with a number of independent brands from the shop. In 2017 Lazy Bass moved back to the Made In Nottingham shop, which moved to its current position downstairs in the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.
It is thanks to the support and enthusiasm of Made In Nottingham that I have been able to realise the idea of having a t-shirt brand, turning it into a reality.
The fact that Made In Nottingham won the High Street Hero award for best high street business at the Small Awards is a testament to all of the hard work put in by the team, without which I would not have the clothing brand I have today.