Our wonderful NHS supportive offer is in action from now until the end of November, to be sure that your order is ready in time for Christmas. You may remember the story behind this pledge, from our British Spirit blog post.
For every bespoke TBM British Spirit Belt sold between now and 30th November 2020, we’d like to donate £25 to NHS Charities Together.
Order one for yourself, for your partner, for your sibling, your best mate. Together we can repay some of the awe-inspiring workers of the NHS and help them prepare for the winter.
Last time I talked about beginning to plan ahead for that special gifting period at the end of the year. Continuing in that vein, I’d like to dedicate this page to our Signature Piece: the British Spirit.
Our British Spirit was born from a time that is not unlike this one in many ways. It was inspired by the sense of team spirit that was exhibited by the players, supporters and volunteers that were ‘Team GB’ at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The red, white and blue stitching represents the colours on the British Union Flag or ‘Union Jack’.
When the volunteer Games Makers made the London 2012 Olympics happen, their selfless energy and skills were given so that we could benefit from the history being made. Sound familiar?
We love to make this belt
We love to make this belt and are very proud of it. The Raise style enables us to safely secure all the start and finish ends for each of the three decorative thread colours on the inside.
Each of the red, the white and the blue stitches – always in that order – are painstakingly hand sewn with a long back stitch, evenly along the full length of each side and around the tip. When done correctly this produces a candy cane style of striping along the inside.
A piece of thinned leather will sit between the two rows of candy stripes and the entire top layer can then be sewn onto a base piece, producing the raised effect.
In a medium sized belt that’s around 1,360 stitches and a lot of work, as you can appreciate!
Which made us think.
Like those amazing, proud Games Makers of 2012 but this time with utmost, awe-inspiring bravery: the doctors, nurses and other members of our NHS risk their lives in British Spirit in this historic time of pandemic.
For every bespoke TBM British Spirit Belt sold between now and 30th November 2020, we’d like to donate £25 to NHS Charities
Can I say that again?
For every bespoke British Spirit sold between now and 30th November 2020, we’d like to donate £25 to NHS Charities.
Order one for yourself, for your partner, for your sibling, your best mate. Together we can repay some of the awe-inspiring workers of the NHS.
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We’re really seeing the benefit, goodwill and warmth that a campaign like Exeter’s Summer of Kindness can bring to a community. It’s following on from the buddy style plans that were due to happen shortly after lockdown began, but… well… lockdown.
Lockdown prevented the previous campaign launch
The original idea had been to team up with a business or businesses in a different sector or area from us, and come up with a plan to promote each other over a particular weekend in March.
We were going to put simple belt displays in Eat the Bird on Sidwell Street and in Recycled Candle Company on Gandy Street. In return we would display Eat the Bird menus in our shop and have a plate of their delicious wares in store during the Saturday morning. Obviously we would ensure that these were given out to our customers! A display of Recycled Candle Company’s products would reside in our shop too, and I had purchased a number of delightful cacti from them for our own product photography, for good measure.
Suddenly, city-wide, all plans changed; some were shelved, some were axed.
Summer of Kindness is Exeter’s latest city-wide advertising campaign
In a change to that previous billing, our local BID (Business Improvement District, known here as InExeter) have come up with the start of a team rescue plan. They have provided us with delightful paper daisies, that look fresh and inviting, to hang in our windows, giving a clear sign to customers that the campaign continues inside those stores. Participating businesses have been encouraged to team up amongst themselves, coming up with their own appropriate deals or offers that would invite their customers to visit the other businesses too.
We have mannequins in our shop! Frocks in Swing Time have loaned us a gorgeous, lacy, royal blue dress with a matching sparkling necklace, which we have teamed up with a contrasting bright red, narrow belt. This compliments the nautical theme in their current window display.
The Black Pearl, whose mannequin is called Manny, is cool as a cucumber in a flowing, silky turquoise number, teamed up with a yellow necklace and silver shoulder mini bag. We have cinched in the dress at the waist with a turquoise belt.
Zebel Bespoke have sent us a blue suit jacket and matching waistcoat with a white woven shirt and a tie which picks out tones in the jacket lining.
Finally, we have a lovely pair of leather shoes with brogue patterning from Loake Exeter, in a delicious chocolate brown which works beautifully with the blue suit.
Those other terrific members of our #SummerofKindness team are also carrying items from our stock in their shops, such as belts, cufflinks and braces. They may choose to sell these on our behalf, as well as explaining to their customers where we are and inviting them to visit us.
Now let me tell you a heartwarming little story…
This week we had a visit from a lovely couple from two different continents, trying to get married. They, like so many other couples in the same situation around the world, have been struggling to organise their special day within the confines and uncertainty of COVID-19.
Having had to reorganise our own wedding due to Foot and Mouth disease (back at the turn of the century) we really felt for them.
They had bought wedding shoes from Loake Exeter and they needed to match a belt to the colour. The manager Kelvin sent them to us for a bespoke belt. We made up a couple of different samples for them, in different leather colours with different edge colours, and they picked their favourite.
During the conversation we chatted about cufflinks, and matching them to belt thread colours and to suit linings, and we were able to recommend Zebel Bespoke for the wedding suit. They headed back up the hill to make those arrangements and we will make the belt especially for them.
We were unable to help with a recommendation for the bridesmaids’ dresses as they are all in New Zealand (we did try!)
We felt all warm and fuzzy that we are all recommending each other and especially that we’d helped out some customers in need, in this time of such confusion and delay. I wholeheartedly hope that they manage to have a wonderful wedding in New Zealand, and that the organisation and travel for all the different family members and friends goes as smoothly as possible! 🥰