How did OTWC get started?
The idea to start Out the Woods came from the mind of our founder, Richard Mutimer. The idea was to raise a significant amount of money for our said charity, but to do it in a different way to the usual fun run or leg wax. Once the three others of us, essentially childhood friends, heard about the concept from Richard, the vision was shared between us and we worked together to design and create our first line of t-shirts, released at the start of November last year.
All four of us; Richard Mutimer, Oli Shilling, Andy Waterhouse and Olly Page are the original OTWC team if you like. All of us have a love for music, with a few of us playing and producing from time to time. As for the fashion side of things, we aren’t exactly Gok Wan (not that we’d like to be) but I suppose we like to dress relatively well. The fashion side of things started off as more of a means to an end (making money for charity), but as time has gone on, I think it’s fair to say we are taking more of an interest now.
Our first line saw collaborations with a mix of creative people. Firstly, Oli, our in-house designer came up with our logo for our signature tee, and then we collaborated with local illustrator David Litchfield who was the creator of our infamous ‘Yeti’ and ‘Owl and Sparrow’ designs. Our first band collaborations saw us team up with Gosport based trio Bear Cavalry and Bury boys Black Sands. A few big names jumped into and remain in the pipeline but the next collaboration that came off was with London based Bastille who have become regulars on radio 1 over the last few months. Everyone’s happy with that, they’re a great band.
Our most recent line has been particularly exciting in terms of collaborations, consisting entirely of band design-work. The autumn range features art by Mercury Prize nominees Alt-J, Oxford based quartet Stornoway, folk rockers To Kill a King and Ipswich based The Cads. Within a few days the line had almost sold out across the board due to the excitement around these bands, calling for a hectic few days of restocking, but a time that felt like some hard work was starting to pay off.
Well the list of bands and artists we have been in talks with is constantly growing, and essentially we are approaching bands on the basis of personal taste. Though this might not be the best business plan, it makes it far more rewarding for us, as well as creating a fan base of people who are relatively like minded to us. This isn’t to say anyone can’t buy our t-shirts, I suppose it just creates a bit more of a brand image for people that care for it.
Agreeing on which design is ‘the one’. Being four quite opinionated guys means the odd debate springs up from time to time, but only because we want to achieve the same thing really.
Who knows.. well, I suppose we have a few plans. Expanding our product range is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but we’ve only recently had the capacity to do it. Things like hats and bespoke backpacks would be great to bring into the range. Off course we’re always looking for more musical talents, maybe slightly higher up the bill, but still bands that we’re into at the end of the day. There are a few other things as well, but we don’t want to give everything away..
If you like what the boys are up to, and want to support the British Heart Foundation while you’re at it, you can head over to their shop and pick up a tee now.