Part 1 of this story was launched yesterday. Read it before this one if you like, if you’ve not read it already.
Both parts are stories about how brave, interesting questions can be like seeds. Sometimes, amazing things grow from them.
Always Wear Red is my clothing brand.
When the concept was born on Valentine’s Day 2015 I had nothing more than a brand vision – The Creation of Confidence.
I was going to need help. So I started sewing seeds.
Richard E. Grant
I wanted to associate the AWR brand with a cool, clever, British, edgy guy that interested me. So I asked Richard. E. Grant. His agent was quite nice initially. Then eventually asked me to kindly bugger off.
That seed bounced on the concrete. It didn’t end well.
A hero of mine. I love how the ‘Oscar’ part of his actual signature looks. And as I create accessories from the world’s densest silk I saw this material as worthy of carrying this unique man’s unique marque. So I tracked down his agent. She’s in Illinois. I asked if I could use the signature. Eventually, she said yes.
And so it is that AWR is the only brand in the world weaving the great man’s signature into the densest 100% pure silk in the world.
That seed grew.
Another hero. Weaving the lyrics to ‘This Charming Man’ into the finest silk seemed like a brilliant idea to me. So I asked Morrissey.
Morrissey said no. So I pointed out that one of his finest tunes was in fact called ‘Ask’. I got no reply. ‘Miserable get.
That seed died also.
I was sat outside a bar in London with my dog Colin in June 2015. I asked the chap on the next table to look after Colin whilst I went to the toilet. That chap was Ralf Little. Ralf played Antony in Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash’s iconic British sitcom “The Royle Family”. Ralf’s now an even more accomplished actor and writer.
I chatted to him about my pre-start business. A lady sat next to him…
Zoë Rocha, the former CEO of Stephen Fry’s Production Company Sprout Productions, the eldest daughter of fashion royalty John Rocha and elder sister of talented fashion designer Simone Rocha sat with us.
Six months later, both Ralf and Zoë were shareholders of Always Wear Red.
Two seeds sewn. Two grew.
Emma Conybeare (Emma CB)
I met London-based Emma on Twitter. Emma, an emerging model has now presented on CapitalXtra, Good Morning Britain and other ITV and Sky shows.
Emma is brilliant. I asked her to be our lead model at AWR’s launch at a North East based photoshoot along with Zoë and Ralf in January 2016. She said yes.
That seed grew.
Seeds Part 2
This seed-sewing shenanigans is a really great thing to do. Asking things. Anything. Of anyone.
It’s important to think about the win:win, though. I really like helping people so when I ask for something I always try to think about how it could be excellent for them as well. So if you’re going to get into more prolific seed sewing, do think about that.
And be cool with the rejections. Because as I mentioned in Part 1 of this story:
Until you ask, the answer is no anyway.
Image: Michael Owen, Emma CB, Zoë Rocha, Ralf Little.