For our latest Q&A, we sat down with Manchester based studio, All The Best, who in their own words produce simple, well designed items and objects of any kind. Talking about taking positivity from the pandemic, creativity and showcasing UK talent, we really enjoyed this interview and hope you do too!
Evening, how are you?
Really good right now, the weather seems to have lifted for the day, so I won’t complain.
For those who may not know could you give us the background to All The Best?
All The Best was started during lockdown 1 of 2020 – although I’ve been talking about wanting to do something with the name and the sentiment for an extremely long time. I lost my job in June of last year and decided that it was probably a good time to start a brand (it probably wasn’t the best time). Initially it was just an Instagram page I used to house images I liked and found inspiration from, but with more time on my hands and being surrounded by lots of creative people it developed pretty naturally into what you see today.
Where did the name come from?
The name itself obviously comes from the saying “all the best”, I feel I grew up hearing it a lot from my family and it being a northern term it was always there. A positive message. A few years back I got it tattooed on my chest, so it was kind of a no brainer to call whatever it was I was going to do – ATB.
What inspires you?
Good honest design, shape, form and mix of colours. My main interests have always been in the creative realm.
You’re very clear that you want to work across many creative formats – was it important not to go down just one avenue?
Yes 100%, Men’s Clothing has always been my main drive, but I felt to start a brand now its not enough, there’s so many brilliant brands out there, in Manchester alone, never mind the UK… so whatever you do, needs to cut through. I wanted to not be tied to one element and instead put out interesting products with clean branding that cover all my other inspirations.
What’s the product you’re most proud of to date and why?
Probably the Cheese/Chopping board, my brother Geno (https://www.instagram.com/gsharpe.design) and myself worked really hard on it, we had a lot of set backs from gathering the correct wood to factory fires. I think it’s also something totally different to what I think people would expect from a small brand which only previously had done mugs, t-shirts and tote bags.
What are your product plans for 2021 – can you tell us about any new releases?
So right now I’m working on a few things, one being a concrete incense burner, I’m looking to get some leather key fobs made and pushing some earth positive apparel, hopefully in the next few months. I do have some really exciting news with a well known brand from the UK but can’t speak on it just yet. It’s going to be mad though.
How has COVID affected you and All The Best as a studio?
I don’t know life without COVID doing this – so its only really effected me positively – as much as a global pandemic can. It’s allowed me time to think and pursue without distraction. I’ve never really had the time to pause and question my direction until now and it was needed.
How have you been keeping busy and positive?
Right now I think its a different type of busy, we can’t do anything. Going out is super limited, so its busy in a different sense. But I’m working on a few things as well as ATB – so I’m always pretty busy, whether its post office trips, packing orders or just thinking about future projects.
What interests do you have outside of All The Best?
I have a big interest in vintage clothing so I’ve recently been trying to do something with that, which is taking up some of my time. Walking (for no more than an hour), cooking, music has always been a major passion of mine, so listening to a lot more at the moment.
Who are your favourite designers and why?
Tough one. To name a few in terms of clothing I’d say maybe Ralph Lauren for his longevity. Clothing brands though I’d have to say Our Legacy for design and use of materials. Braindead for their amount of diverse products. Stussy for what they’ve done for streetwear throughout the years and consistently killing it. Clarks Originals just for the Wallabee Boot – Maple.
Outside of clothing I’d say Hay for their simplicity and relationship with function and form. Lichen NYC is an amazing shop for furniture old and new, they have some amazing pieces, I’d would love to visit their shop one day.
And finally in terms of people I know – Workroom NYC (@workroomnyc) – they put out some really lovely artwork onto pieces in and out the home, I’m hoping to work with them soon. Li-en Yeung (@yeunglien) – makes the most amazing handmade garments with really interesting concepts on function. Junior Clint of Clints (@clintsinc) – his trainers are top and his output surrounding them is second to none right now. finally Emma Loughbridge of Lid (@lidshopmcr) – she’s doing some amazing sustainable bucket hats at the moment, the branding and the fact her character shows through onto them is mega.
What advice can you give to anyone wanting to channel their creativity but unsure where to start?
Don’t put pressure on yourself. Be patient and just try and talk as much as possible about your ideas, bat them about. Understand your ideas and focus on them.
What life lessons have you learnt from running your own studio?
Have a bit more confidence in yourself to back your ideas and notions. Give yourself a break, you don’t always have to be smashing it, like everything there are ups and down. Go easy on yourself.
Where’s the best place for people to find out more about you?
Finally, can you summarise All The Best in only 3 words…
I mean its in the name really but – all the best, drink more water, save the bees, feelings aren’t final. Hard to choose.