Tom Bickley explains how Awesome Merchandise helped him set up his streetwear label Rainy Daze
“Rainy Daze is my creative outlet – I love seeing how a business works and I have a passion for branding and design that has come from years of experience in the field,“ explains founder Tom Bickley.
Since the online-only label was launched in 2017, both its customer base and its product range have increased, with the latter now including a wider choice of garments along with some ‘novelty‘ items, such as umbrellas, that suit the brand perfectly.
The label contains a mix of pieces from different imprint brands as well as custom-produced items, explains Tom. “We ensure that the majority of our pieces are unisex for comfort and for affordability, but we do now sell a few bits and pieces specifically designed for women. The colour palette is purely black and white. It’s a classic streetwear combination and suits the black and white photo aesthetic of our campaigns. As we develop we may bring in colours for individual capsule collections or collaborations.” Accessories are popular, he adds, with beanies often being added to T-shirt and hoodie orders.
When he was setting up the brand Tom sat down with Luke Hodson, co-founder of Awesome Merchandise, and picked out everything and anything that could work for the first range. “We took items from AWDis, Bella+Canvas, Gildan, Russell, Anvil, Skinnifit and pretty much everyone who had something to offer a new start-up looking for quality blank garments. We spent several hours going back and forth to reduce the choices down and I then shared the items with a group of friends to get feedback on the pros and cons of each piece. Ultimately the decisions were made by majority and the focus was quality above all else.”
As a relatively new brand, going fully custom-made was not an option initially, but now the brand is more established, Rainy Daze is working with several factories overseas to produce a few items for the range. However, the label maintains its print and finishing in the UK, Tom confirms.
He uses a mix of decoration processes across the range: “We have embroidered snapbacks, vinyl-pressed crop tops, hoodies and umbrellas, as well as our screen printed long sleeves, T-shirts and sweatshirts. Luke and Awesome Merchandise have always been very helpful in explaining the process and finishes of each of the different decoration options, and sampling has often been key to getting this right together.
“I have worked with Awesome Merchandise personally for years now; their online and social presence has always been growing and going from strength to strength. I was initially recommended their services by friends in bands but have since used them wherever and whenever possible! They strive to produce the best product and are always looking to expand on what they can offer companies and independent artists.”
For decorators looking to supply streetwear labels that are similar to Rainy Daze, Tom advises: “Build up a great relationship with your customers – publicise their products and support them on social media. People will always love seeing a great product and in turn the word will get out about your service and your business. If you can incorporate video into your offerings online then people will be able to absorb a lot more information and they’ll get a better understanding of you and your business.”