England – The Low Down Adventure
My cousins Jane and Tyrone moved to London a few years ago, and we instantly started planning a visit. I had to make a trip to the Pencil Museum happen and they were down for the ride. Nothing really took shape until I received an email saying that they’re moving back to the States to start a company. Last minute rearranging of plans and it was settled – a 2-week road trip throughout the UK. It would be a joint RAD AND HUNGRY sourcing trip and their last hoorah, hittin’ stops that they wanted to visit.
I headed to London with a list of companies to hit. No prearranged tours – just fingers-crossed for the best. Hoping they’d love RAH as much as we love them. And sure enough they did. Everyone hustled and arranged private tours, they treated us like rockstars. We were floored. We loved getting to know the makers that we’ve long admired (and the makers we discovered during our journey) and love the love from them. We now love them even more (how is it even possible?)!
You know what’s crazy, though? The whole trip was one big last-minute hustle. We couldn’t help it – we always started the day early and on time but there was some greater force (or thrift shop) working against us. Rain, snow, or wind cuttin’ right through us made for lots of coffee breaks, pint drinkin’, tasty grubbin’… and sometimes it was traffic or getting lost. But the makers made it work. Companies stayed open late for us. Tyrone was shocked. After working in London the last few years, he was fully aware that in England, it’s not a minute past 5pm and everybody is out the door, on the way to the local pub. But the makers hooked it up!
We met so many makers and shakers makin’ shit happen. This month is all about celebrating the makers we were lucky to connect with – from Cliff and the entire crew at Ernest Wright & Son crankin’ out the most lovely scissors EVER made (yes, ever ever), to Nick and Emily of Seawhite of Brighton producing top-quality paper products that are oh-so-RAH, to Bruce and Luke of Foxes Cafe roastin’ the raddest blend of beans (hello Mix Tape Espresso blend!), the entire staff at the Pencil Museum hookin’ us up (FOR REALZ!), and more.
With the exception of Derwent / Pencil Museum, everyone we worked with is still family owned. Ernest Wright for over 100 years, Seawhite for over 30, Bruce and Luke’s Coffee is the newest to the game with 4 years behind them. We’re so proud of the people we’re supporting, the people who’ve been passin’ down their craft and secrets and still makin’ the best daily-diet goods. And super excited to share all the goods with RAHstrs! RAH Raw Makers!