Fortnum & Mason
A shorter episode than usual where we discuss an exciting bit of news for Thomas Clipper...
This week we announce that we're being stocked in Fortnum & Mason, the prestigious London department store, from the 18th February this year. From Kickstarter to F&M in just over a year is a big achievement for us, so we take it as an excuse to geek out on history.
More F&M history at their website here.
Next time: we talk leather quality and tannery choice. If we've chosen a tannery by the (we think we will have done...).
WHAT WE SAID
(more or less)
For those without headphones...
Matt: Welcome to Coming Clean. I’m Matt.
Tony: And I’m Tony. We’re the founders of Thomas Clipper, a British startup bringing exceptional craftsmanship to men’s mornings. This podcast follows the development of our latest product: a fantastic Tuscan leather wash bag.
Matt: We’re launching the bag on Kickstarter: if enough people pledge to buy it, we’ll have the minimum orders we need to make something really rather exciting.
Tony: Or it might be a different story entirely: if we don’t hit our funding goal or one of any number of things mean we can’t launch at all, it could be a cautionary tale about how not to launch a product or run a crowdfunding campaign. We simply don’t know yet.
Matt: We’re inviting you in on the journey. From before we’ve even seen our first prototype to when the product, hopefully, reaches its goal on Kickstarter and ships out to customers across the world. You can find a record of all our past episodes by searching Coming Clean on iTunes or visiting thomasclipper.com/podcast
Tony: Last week we had a chat about the rigorous quality, social and environmental standards we demand from our suppliers.
Matt: I’m still in Milan working on the development of the wash bag.
Tony: I’m calling in from Clipper HQ in London. And this week we’re going to be announcing some very exciting news.
From the 18th of February you’ll be able to find us in Fortnum & Masons, the prestigious London department store on Piccadilly. That’s a journey from Kickstarter to Fortnum's in just over a year, which is something we’re really proud of.
Matt: Beyond being a fantastic shop for all things grocery, tea and grooming, Fortnum and Masons has a brilliant history. And if you’ve read about our products before, especially the Heritage range, you’ll know that Tony and I are into our history.
Tony: For Fortnum and Masons it all starts at the outset of the 18th century. William Fortnum was a footman in Queen Anne’s household. She was the last Stuart monarch and her legacy in the public imagination is defined by lace and chairs. Odd for a woman guiding the country through a pivotal point in the course of British history.
Still, if she was going to be remembered for anything in the royal household, it should have been candles: The Royal Family at the time insisted on new candles every night, instead of using the candles left over from the previous evening. This left lots of half-used candles for our footman William to dispose of.
Matt: Being an enterprising chap with a distaste for waste (like us actually...) he took the half used candles, melted them down, and sold them off. These days he’d have gotten on well in Dalston or Portland or Brooklyn - in fact I can see a reclaimed candle Kickstarter doing quite well...
Tony: Fortnam’s landlord was Hugh Mason. Mason owned a grocery, and in 1707 they established a shop together in a sort of a 18th century Venture Capitalist meets plucky CEO deal. The same year saw Queen Anne become the first sovereign of Great Britain - an auspicious time to start a great British venture.
Matt: Incidentally, and inevitably, three years later was 1710. That was the year the tree that we use in our shaving bowl and brush was planted in the Midlands.
Tony: This is only the beginning of the story of course: in the course of the next three hundred years Fortnum’s invented the Scotch Egg, brought baked beans to England and sent the suffragettes who smashed their windows hampers of food in prison. If you want to know more, we’ll pop a link on our website at www.thomasclipper.com/podcast.
So come 18th February when you’re shopping Thomas Clipper’s Heritage range in Fortnum’s you’ll be looking at over six hundred years of combined British history and innovation.
We’re extremely proud to be part of such a renowned and respected British institution.
Matt: Also you should know that they’ve got fantastic tea: really top notch stuff. I recommend the Smoky Earl Grey...
Tony: To celebrate this great British combination we’re going to be offering £20 in Fortnum’s gift vouchers for everyone who purchases the a Heritage or Purist shave set before the 18th.
Matt: If you crack on quickly that’s just enough time to get your shave delivered for Valentine’s day incidentally: a clean shave and £20 to spend at Fortnum’s? What could be better.
Tony: Fortnum and Mason have shops all over the world and you can use your voucher online too, but if you’re nowhere near one of their brilliant outlets then just shoot us an email when you order and we’ll send you something fantastic instead. Or you can just hang onto your voucher - good excuse for a trip to London we say.
Matt: Especially after the 18th - in fact we’d love as many of you as possible to walk through the doors at Fortnum’s when we launch and walk out with even more brilliant TC shave gear in their famous turquoise bag.
Tony: Next week we’ll be talking leather quality and tannery choice - we think we’ll have chosen a tannery from within the cooperative by then. Until then, thanks for listening. I’m Tony.
Matt: And I’m Matt. This has been Coming Clean from Thomas Clipper. See you next week...