ThatIsBeyond…The near-death experience

To be frank, this week had been shit.

I’m not somone who uses superfluous cussing to get a point across, but in this instance I believe it is warranted.

I will not go into huge amounts of detail about why, but you’ll have to trust me that the level of unfortunate events that had occured that week was enough to get a pretty positive fellow down. And then this happened…

MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE MY VERY EYES.

This is a phenomenon which is surely only present in Hollywood movies, right? A sort of device of plot, that helps make a mundane story come to life? I can attest that there is a real life element to life flashes which are now undoubtedly ingrained in my brain.

That morning, instead of walking to the gym, I took my car the short distance as I wanted to get a full workout in, instead of cutting it short to get home on time. In the short five minute journey, I noticed some unusual and yet unconcerning noises, which I put down to the wet weather. One work out down and a change in the weather and still there are these strange grating noises. I park up. I get down on the wet ground and I look for anything loose under the car. Nothing. I check around the wheels but all seems “normal”.

I get home and shower. I tell my wife about the strange noises and I plan that evening to drive back to my parent’s house so my dad can take a look and if there is a problem then I could borrow a car to see me through the next weeks.

We continue our day and I drive to our friends’ house about 10 minutes away. The noise isn’t so obvious but it is certainly still there. I think to myself – its a good job i’m getting this sorted this evening.

When we leave, we jump in the car and say our goodbyes, I want to get home early so that I can make a dent in the 3.5 hour journey to my home town before dark – I wait to turn right from the cul-de-sac onto a busy main road,i give it a bit of welly to slot in, so I am a little closer to the car in front than I would ideally like. We approach the traffic lights and I cautionarily apply the brakes.

NOTHING HAPPENS.

In slow motion I see the back of the car in front get closer. I clock a glance of my son’s face in my rearview mirror. I press harder still on the brake. Still nothing. I glance ahead to the oncoming lane and I turn the steering wheel to the right. I say “the brakes arent…” but I never finish the sentence. Cars are coming towards us and I pull the handbrake as I force the brake pedal to the floor and beyond swerving into the opposite lane. Finally we stop. Crisis averted.

The images that flickered through my mind were in sepia and all momentary glances of life. In none of them was I still, but instead a perpetual motion of emotions and feelings.

MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE MY VERY EYES.

It happened so quickly – I didn’t stall. I had the wherewithall to realise that I couldnt stop where I was. I talked through what I was doing. Word by word instructions until I roll to a stop click the hazards on and finally breathe.

In. Out.

Of all of the images that presented themselves in my seconds of need, none of them were of money. None were of work. No housework, no schedules, no self-doubt.

There was happiness, weddings, births, hugs, smiles. Family, friends, moments of love and tears of joy.

As shaken as I was – it gave me a whole lot of perspective.

Life is too short.

To coin a phrase – I couldnt help but wonder… why have i been so hard on myself for all of these years?

I have been pondering this very thought in the weeks that have followed, and I still cannot work out why i have this innate need to prove myself in work as a dad and as a man. I damage myself every day trying to prove to others that i am worthy. And even since this life-adjusting event with a moment of clarity to reflect on – I am still holding my life to ransome for the sake of what others think.

My Dad had even asked the question “Son, why are you being so hard on yourself?” and the truth is that i dont know why. It’s like picking away at a scab, only with a scab I will forget about it in a few days – but the impressions I have made mentally are still scarring me decades on.

If a near death experience didnt result in lasting perspective, then what will?!

Its time to put the brakes on self-damage. To take control of my own perception of me and see it differently. I just hope that I am spared the next near-death experience and can instead make lasting changes to support myself.

TIB

ThatIsBeyond… World Mental Health Day.

Today is an important day.

World Mental Health Day.

Millions of us struggle, not just today, but everyday with some aspect of our mental health. But many are too afraid or concerned about how talking will affect others, that they suffer in silence and hold the damage inside.

Since my struggles intensified over recent events, I have been working on a project to raise awareness of the struggles that everybody face everyday and so today I thought was the perfect opportunity to share them as a collection of images and musings on the important subject of mental health.

At the end of this post I will be sharing some links to places where you can find help if and when you need it – please talk – share and be there for each other. If 2020 has taught me nothing, it’s that this is a cruel world and it is indiscriminate to whether or not you are a good person. We need every one of you around to help make this world a better place.

Today was a dark day.

Stagnant dark day.
Go away.
Don’t hold my hand and lead me through the daylight on shadowy footsteps.

Let. Me. Be.

You feed me with words and feelings that are not my own. I gag on the toughness of hateful air, and sit mute.

Dark day. Go away.

Let me sit upright – not uptight, looking for a fight. A pressurised canister unexploded but loaded and ready to go.

Dark dark day.
Just go away.

Let me be me. Soon you’ll see that I have been a man receiving signs in a world that aligns and hopefully spitting out unspoken rhymes to get me through this nightmare pain.

Hear me when I say.

DARK DAY
GO AWAY
Beast

Mental health issues are The Beast within us. The worst part though is that words like best can be used as weapons against us – and when they are they can sit dormant inside until we use them to harm ourselves – speak them and get them out of your system. WORDS HURT TOO.

Don’t hold back.

Sometimes we are meaner to ourselves than we would ever let anyone else get away with. It is said that we hurt those closest to us, but that doesn’t account for the damage we do to ourselves everyday.

LET IT OUT.

Say it with me… I am going to do everything in my power to stop the harm that I am doing to myself.

I am a man and I am choosing to speak out now, to save myself later.

Inside my mind.

Sometimes I feel a plethora of emotions that span the entire spectrum. People can be caught off guard because one day I can be gregarious, full of energy and joy, and the next I can take refuge inside my own mind.

Beaten.

Self-inflicted damage is easy to hide – but not from yourself.

Do not suffer in silence. Speak out, seek help.

It will get better.

Protector.

Self-consciousness can shame you from being your authentic-self and that is no way to live.

We protectors see what others need from us to be their best selves, to support them and ensure that they weather the storms.

Protect yourself too – show self-care and love to the person that you are.

Sometimes. Men. Cry.

It’s ok to not be ok.

Emotions are felt by all. They are not discriminative. Look into the eyes of your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, the parents in the playground, the people on the street – and smile – connect. That may have been the only thing that got them through the day.

If I can be of help PLEASE do reach out – I am not an expert – but I am here to listen.

Take care of yourselves. Wayne x

The NHS recommends the following steps for helping others:

Top things you can do to help

Express concern and say you can help

Letting someone know you’re worried is a good way to open up a conversation – it shows you care about the person, have time for them and that they do not have to avoid things with you.

Reassure them

The first time someone mentions their worries is a big step. It’s good to recognise this and reassure them. Let them know you’re there to listen when they need to talk.

Offer your time to listen

Listening is an important skill. Ask open questions that start with “how”, “what”, “where” or “when”. This can help people open up.

Act as you usually do together

Do what you usually do – behaving differently can make someone feel more isolated. Do not be afraid to offer kind words and a space to talk, whether by phone, messaging or in person.

Be patient

You will not always know the full story. There may be reasons why they have found it difficult to ask for help. Just being there can be helpful for someone who may want to open up later.

If they do not want support

Gently explore their reasons for not wanting to get support. If they are unsure whether to get help, just talking and listening without judgement could help work out what’s getting in the way.

Do not force it

Do not force someone to talk to you or get help, and do not go to a doctor on their behalf. This may lead to them feeling uncomfortable, with less power and less able to speak for themselves.

Look after yourself

It can be upsetting to hear someone you care about in distress. Be kind to yourself and take some time to relax or do something you enjoy.

Offer practical help

Little acts of kindness – like offering to do the shopping or to go to professional appointments with them – can help. Find out what works for them.

And here are some organisations who may be able to help (for a full list please visit the NHS website HERE

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Mind

Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

Website: www.mind.org.uk

SANE

Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

ThatIsBeyond… Covid-19 finding my voice again

Having had somewhat more time in my hands than predicted, I seem to have developed a coping mechanism that sees me through the loop de loops and ups and downs of this COVID coaster.

My life has changed exponentially since lockdown began. It is unrecognisable to me and I am most certainly a different man to the one who started 2020.

Some people take solace in books or Netflix of gardening (the evidence is all over Instagram on that one) but for me, I craved something that was familiar and engaging and worlds where I could escape the monotony and mental exhaustion of lockdown – namely musical theatre!

I gave up on a career in acting many years ago. I wasn’t prepared to make the personal sacrifices it was going to take, and so I left and focussed my career aspirations elsewhere. It was not an easy decision to make, but having a child and the consistency that a regular paycheque would bring, tipped the balance.

Every person needs to make tough decisions in their lifetimes, but for me, I felt that this simple turning point was the one which made its stamp on the man that I would become. But the musical theatre never left me.

I spent a lot of time coming to terms with the loss of music from my life. As time passed my instrument lost its training and I found that my voice contorted. It became a part of me that I could not control as well as I used to – songs and characters left me and if I am honest there was a void to fill which I filled with food. I don’t think I realised it, but I was in a small way grieving for my loss.

Covid-19 has been a monstrous adversary to us all and we may as well write 2020 off, but for all the loss and pain that it has caused, it has brought into my life three things that I am extremely thankful for:

1. I have been able to teach and learn from my son in the six months leading up to him starting at Primary School (and let’s face it that is priceless)

2. I have been forced into some career clarity (some haze as well, but it gets clearer every day)

3. I have found my voice again. It is a journey and challenge, but it is a discovery too. Not rediscovering what used to be there, but a discovery of what this man can create vocally, now! Which in itself is so exciting.

In my opinion the best examples of musical theatre are those tragic tales where words just aren’t enough, they need the music to lift and carry the weight of the story forwards. To name but a few, in my mind, audiences have painted as George Seurat on a hot Sunday and argued with Dot knowing that maybe she’s right and that “We do not belong together”, We have sat on a pier with Kathy knowing that we were breaking her heart and knowing that our actions would destroy the “Last Five Years”, and People have stared down the barrel of a gun with Kim, protecting their son’s with the words “you will not touch him”.

When people say they don’t like Musical Theatre, I already think that what they really mean is that they haven’t seen a show that moves them, but I defy anybody to watch a decent version of Parade, and not shed a tear at the hopelessness of the situation and cruelty of humankind. This true tale is one of the best examples of music that drags the narrative along and the freezes just long enough for us to see the very essence of the characters, who have gone too long without being able to let it out.

So with Parade and Leo Franks on my mind, I set to finding and recording a way into this character and in a way into performing again. This is a song that I had performed in 2011 at Drama School, but had lost confidence in my abilities to emote.

It’s not perfect and it’s not “professional” but it is where I am now. So thank you Covid-19. You have stolen so much from a great many people, myself included, but you have at least re-opened a door that had been closed for many years.

TIB

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ThatIsBeyond… “turn the volume up on flat, lifeless hair” with Murdock London

Murdock London is one of the quintessential brands in the modern man’s arsenal. Amazing barbers with a focus on the experience of having a hair cut or shave, but they also offer way more than just a trim!

I have raved for years about their product range. Their fragrances are modern and masculine blends, that smell amazing and leave you feeling upbeat and confident, my absolute fave is the Black Tea cologne. Products can do way more than their function on the surface – and this is a brand that truly knows this, they discover what their clients need from a product and then they design it. It’s as simple as that!

“Turn the volume up on flat, lifeless hair” with Murdock London

I have been so excited for the release of this new haircare product by Murdock London, because as soon as I read the description – I felt that it had been made entirely for me! The Murdock London Sea Salt Volume Mousse*

As a man with somewhat flat hair, I am always looking for a bit of a lift! So I have been on an eternal search for hair care products that volumise my otherwise flat and lifeless mop – and create style and texture that I can be confident with.

Sea salt sprays have already done a reasonable job, the formulation does give lift but for me I have always found it difficult to also achieve a style that is flexible but lasts throughout the day without getting messy… and so this new release from Murdock London has opened a new door to stylish lewks with enough hold to ensure you stay looking sharp throughout the day!

This innovative new product has been created by Murdock’s team of expert barbers, and they packed it with active ingredients including Seaweed Extract (rich in minerals and vitamins to help hair grow stronger)

The Sea Salt Volume Mousse creates thicker-feeling hair and provides a dramatic lift whilst offering the flexibility to create a variety of hairstyles across different hair types, including fine and curly hair.

The new mousse is part of the Murdock Clean Label range– a collection of premium grooming supplies free from Parabens, Phthalates, Sulphates, PEGs and Synthetic Dyes. The latest launch from Murdock is Petroleum and Lanolin free and is also suitable for vegetarians. But don’ take my word for it, you can click the link above to the Murdock London Web page for all of the Clean Label range details.

And what do the in-house experts who developed the product recommend?

‘’Maximise your application with plenty of heat using a hairdryer to create new levels of volume and texture. Use a brush to achieve a polished volume, or ruffle through dry hair with your hands to create a more dishevelled look’’

You can get your hands on Murdock’s Sea Salt Volume Mousse by visiting http://www.murdocklondon.com

And the fantastic news, gentlemen, is still that it’s still available to purchase at a special launch price of £18 (RRP £24).

Either visit www.murdocklondon.com or from any of the Murdock London Barbershops.

And whilst you’re there why not tell them that ThatIsBeyond sent you!

Oh and P.S. … they currently have 25% off of their colognes 😍 so if you act quick you can pick up a bargain too!

*please note that this product was gifted for the purpose of review but all opinions are my own.

ThatIsBeyond… Murdock London Sea Salt Volume Mousse

FINE HAIR RECEIVES A BOOST AS MURDOCK LONDON LAUNCHES THICKENING SEA SALT MOUSSE

The awaited release of the Murdock London’s sea salt mousse, has all your styling woes solved! Just fine hair can swiftly become FINE HAIR. 😉

An extension to Murdock London’s clean label range – and hot off of the success of their sea salt spray – I have been eagerly awaiting what is promising to be the must-have haircare item for this Summer.

The Sea Salt Mousse promises serious holding power, nutrition for the hair and above all to boost flat and lifeless fine hair and turn up the volume on your hair style.

I need some of this in my life and the wait is over! Available from Tuesday 28th July you too can get your hands on some.

Simply visit: http://www.murdocklondon.com

Now get to the back of the queue!!!

TIB

ThatIsBeyond… Mental Health / Mortal Peril

I spend most of my life thinking that mortal peril is surely heading my way. It only takes someone to look a little pale on the tube and I can be led awake days later whilst my brain convinces me that I have an unknown illness which is bound to make me vomit.

I have been through spoken therapies and CBT to manage through particularly tough times, which have included but are not exclusively linked to severe vehicle accidents, my wife’s pregnancy and dealing with a 3 month olds spit up! There is something very degrading about the bodily functions of a baby affecting a father’s mental health. I felt then, that I was somehow less of a man.

I can be pretty cruel to myself.

My work colleagues know that I am not good with sick. I have dealt with severed arteries, broken bones and most things in between, but when it comes to vomit my team rally around me. One time though I had no choice and I realised that the focus and care that I was giving to another person, made me able to cope with what was going on around me and I even slept reasonably well the following night. I had engaged a different part of my brain and somehow felt less affected by the sickness.

This is a skill that I have been using a lot lately. Covid-19, for someone like me, is the realisation of one of my worst nightmares. I was already the person who carried bottles of antibac gel in my pocket but I knew there would need to be more to put my mind at rest.

I put my energy into preparations, batch cooking food, creating lessons for my son, DIY… just to give myself a focus that wasn’t “ there’s an illness out there and it’s out to get me”. It worked for a while and then I realised that there was a lot of coughing going on in my house – wife and son had developed a single symptom which could have meant the dreaded virus. Determined not to break, I engaged that part of my brain that I had used in first aid scenarios and I tried to maintain normality (in front of my son at least) and keep on going. I built a routine of walks – 233 laps of my garden became my 10,000 steps a day, I worked out, I searched online delivery sites endlessly to no avail, and I spent time with my family. Every instinct of self-preservation was telling me to run and hide, but I did everything I could to be tactile and loving however mentally enduring it became. My resolve was constant. Luckily no further symptoms developed and both are right as rain.

I also spent time reconnecting with friends and family and trying to build up their spirits. I like to be needed and focussing on others meant that I wasn’t alone in the mental hell-hole of my own making. I was surprised at how well I was doing. After being furloughed from work I knew i would find it even harder, and it was. But I scraped on through and was finding an even footing again.

Yesterday, I woke up with a genuine sense of foreboding. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but I knew it would be bad. I usually get a warning ahead of a bad day and on Friday night I had told my wife that I was feeling overwhelmingly lonely (this is usually how it starts). With that feeling came a worthlessness and mental exhaustion which I can’t even describe. After climbing up the stairs with zero energy i realised that I had left my phone charger downstairs and this almost broke me.

So when I woke up I wasn’t surprised to find that I could barely move, it took 15 minutes to make contact with my newly charged phone and check the time. I could hear movement downstairs, porridge being slurped and cupboard doors being opened and closed. I made a list of things I had to do:

Brush my teeth

Have a shower

Get dressed

Skincare regime

Make coffee

Apologise for sleeping in

The only thing I achieved in the next hour was boiling the water for the coffee and the apology…so naturally I mentally harmed myself – I told myself that I am useless, that I look terrible and that I am selfish. Tears well up, but I know if I cry, my son will ask why, then I’ll feel worse.

I can’t really remember what happened for the rest of the day – I tried to nap, played a games console for a few minutes and then put away some washing. When my son woke up I left my wife sleeping and brought him downstairs to play, but I could not move or engage with him very well.

I started to cry.

I called mum and dad because I didn’t know what else to do. They got me through, with my mums care and lightness of conversation, and dad’s empathy and belief in the man that I am – even when he’s sees value in the qualities that I see as weakness.

I didn’t want to get to this place and I had tried really hard not to, but you can’t be in control all of the time. Emetophobia is a daily struggle that I deal with and times could not be harder than they are right now.

I am the luckiest man in the world. I have an amazing and supportive family, I know how these things start with me and I know they rarely last for a long time. But aside from those things I am not afraid to open up and share how I am feeling. And knowing that makes all of this a lot easier to deal with.

So can I ask just two things of anyone reading this?

1. Please stay home. Don’t bend the rules – just stick to them as they are intended. Please make sure that your young people are doing the same – they may not understand why it is so important to do so.

2. Mental health issues affect many, many people. It is not discriminative. It affects any gender, any sexual preference, your average joe, to the rich and famous. Please show some care and understanding to others and make sure you talk about how you feel. You do not need to suffer in silence.

I think that sometimes the older generations had it right. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then you should probably refrain from saying it. Or as I have often said:

Just because you have an opinion (which you are 100% entitled to) doesn’t mean you have to shout it from the rooftops!

I hope you are all well and staying safe. This won’t be forever.

Please do leave a comment, share and subscribe – I mean it’ll fill some of the time!

ThatIsBeyond… My Fitness Journey (part 1)

In many ways 2019 had not been my best year. Don’t get me wrong there have been some amazing highlights, there is no doubt about that, but there has also been a lot that I would rather forget!

One thing that changed drastically for me, was a perception of who I was and who I wanted to be. 2019 was when I started to prioritise my health (mental and physical) and began a lone journey to feel better about who I am. The problem was I made small strides in the right direction, but I didn’t have the expertise to know how to achieve, what I wanted to achieve!

I bought a gym membership in the hope that paying for the gym would make me go more regularly (and it did for a bit) but work got in the way – heavy schedules unusual hours and before I knew it, I was attending only every now and then.

Gyms are not always the friendliest of places. I’m quite shy in new surroundings and found the bravado of other gym goers combined with my lack of knowledge pretty intimidating.

With all of that in mind and a determination to lose some weight and build some muscle (eventually) I knew I had to find a way to make the gym less scary and to make sure that I attended regularly, and more importantly that I was getting the most out of the time that I was in the gym.

In November I approached Tom at TPM fitness. (Full disclosure – he’s the boyfriend of a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen for years!) I had never met Tom, but knew of him via social media – and contacted my friend to see if there was anything that he might be able to do to help.

With Tom based in Wolverhampton and me in Kent personal training sessions in the conventional sense were never going to work, so instead I embarked on what I will call “online training” for want of a better phrase!

The first thing to say is that Tom is a top bloke. He listens, and was someone I could instantly open up to. I have a history with food, and we ain’t always BFFs – and I can also become obsessed with things like weighing myself or overdoing things to the point where my body is at breaking point. I also stressed to Tom that whilst my fitness journey would no doubt impact on my family life, I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t cutting too much into the quality time I spend with my wife and son… a pretty tall order.

With all of this in mind, Tom worked out a program for me and the hard work began. I spent two weeks in the US with little access to a gym, he adapted my training to be able to complete it at home and therefore my fitness journey continued.

So how does it work? I hear you ask!

Well it’s simple really

⁃ weekly check ins (mostly done by email but sometimes via Skype)

⁃ Calorie counting (made easy with a handy App)

⁃ Gym sessions (all planned by Tom for you to achieve your personal goals)

⁃ Monitoring steps

⁃ Disclose weight/ measurements once a week

What I think I great, is that Tom sets my parameters with his experience and knowledge, but I take responsibility for achieving my goals. If I want that mars bar (king size obvs) then I know that the consequence is I might not hit my goal that day – which in turn could pause my progress, but sometimes you just NEED a Mars Bar and that is my choice to make!

When I check in with Tom, there is definitely a certain amount of accountability and in a sense I don’t want to let him down, but really it’s about focussing on my goals and how I can achieve them. This process seems to be working for me and the Library of exercises with handy pointers on how to complete each exercise is fantastic. I have found that the bigger the weight the more my form weakens so it’s good to return to the bite-sized videos to remember how to achieve the best form.

If you want to look into this for yourself feel free to contact Tom via his Instagram

@Tpm_healthandfitness

Email: tommorganfitness@gmail.com

Or his website: http://www.tpmhealthandfitness.com

There will be more on my #fitnessjourney soon so if you like this content subscribe to see future posts

This post HAS NOT been sponsored by TPM Health and Fitness – my work with Tom has been paid for, by me, at his Standard rate.

ThatIsBeyond… Summer starts with Havaianas

For me, summer hasn’t arrived until my Havaianas are planted firmly on my feet!

It’s part of the summer preparations – switching my beer for a gin and tonic! Shorts seem ever more appropriate for any occasion and I start being drawn to online shopping for new Havaianas!

Since my first pair was bought for me as a thank you gift, I haven’t looked back – the reason is, that no other pair has lived up to the quality (and style) of my Havaianas.

This year I am especially excited because I now have some sliders! They seem to be all the rage at the moment and so I had to get involved! With the recent heatwave, they also became as close to a necessity as summer footwear can ever be!

They are comfortable, stylish and bring that Brazilian flavour which is bang on trend! This is proper footwear for that beach lifestyle that we all crave when summer finally comes and if you are going to wear flip flops or sliders, then you might as well wear the best quality ones.

Now If only they could harness the Brazilian rhythm and put it into my feet – then we would be 100% there!

Click Here to check out what Havaianas have on offer for this summer of sun!!!

TIB

ThatIsBeyond… underwear questions I dare to BASK!

With the Launch of Bask Menswear being the talk of Instagram – I thought it was time to get to know the guys behind this hot new brand, a little more – as well as get the answers to some burning questions… I speak to Simon Crowther on of the masterminds behind the brand that has punctuated my underwear drawer since their launch.

So Team Bask, How did the company come about?

We are all friends and already run our own successful businesses independently of each other. We wanted to collaborate to create something truly amazing. Simon Crowther & Tom Gribby spotted a gap in the underwear market and to utilise their creativity, Nick Lempard joined with his clothing and manufacturing expertise.

We wanted to create an amazing brand which addressed all our gripes with existing underwear brands. Along with making our underwear comfortable, stylish and affordable, we don’t like labels… and removed the often-irritating label from the rear of our underwear. We also have a centralised front and rear logo on the band, and created vibrant and recyclable packaging. We want our customers to BASK in the confidence of knowing their underwear is better than everyone else’s.

Tom Gribby is the founder and Director of Northbridge Talent; a boutique agency with a proactive, committed and personal approach providing a high calibre of adult and young clients for TV, film and Theatre work.

Simon is an award-winning engineer and entrepreneur. In 2012 he founded Flood Protection Solutions Ltd, which has since grown into one of the UK’s leading flood defence companies. The company has grown year on year since 2012. Simon’s work in industry at FPS gained him a place on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Nick Lempard is the owner of the Promotional Textiles Group which works with clients from conception through to delivery to provide a full supply chain solution manufacturing clothing across a range of specialist factories in China, Portugal and Turkey. Nick is quick to spot latest trends and Promotional Textiles grew rapidly supplying Jute bags during the purge on plastic and transition towards sustainable bags for life. Nick’s packaging experience is invaluable at BASK, and between his experience and Simon’s environmental qualifications and passion, it resulted in all BASK packaging being either biodegradable or recyclable. One of the most used items – the mailing bag – is made from potato starch instead of plastic!

We all will continue to run our own businesses and have collaborated to form BASK Menswear.

 

So, tell me about the launch it seemed to go amazingly – what we’re the challenges that you faced?

The launch was incredibly exciting for us, we opened for pre-orders one week prior and the interest generated by our Facebook ads was fantastic. Pre-orders were shipped out, and during our launch week, many of the customers who pre-ordered were already posting and sharing photos on their Instagram helping to create a buzz. We had a launch event in London at Pride where dancers in BASK underwear performed to a thousand people!

That’s brilliant! What I call a brand “making an Entrance”!

As well as amazingly comfortable and stylish underwear, I know that you have environmental aims as well. How does Bask give back?

At BASK we are extremely conscious of the World we live in today. Whilst it cost us more, we invested in recyclable packaging, and one of our most used items -the mailing bag- is actually made from potato starch instead of plastic and is completely biodegradable. As we grow, we will be looking for further ways to give back. We are also passionate of delivering our customers the best quality items, so they can BASK in style, comfort and confidence.

As well as potting a gap in the market, Were you underwear fans before creating Bask?

It’s safe to say we were all underwear fans before with wide collections. We all need underwear, and finding a favourite is always difficult. Underwear is usually only 2 of 3 things; affordable, stylish or comfortable. We wanted BASK Menswear to deliver on all 3.

Well it certainly seems that you have done that!

So next to the classic question for an underwear brand…Boxers or briefs?

Boxers on weekdays, briefs at the weekend.

Underwear brands can sometimes seem to cater to only muscled adonises – Do you have any tips for bigger guys when it comes to choosing underwear?

Don’t limit yourself and make sure to choose underwear which is comfortable and stylish. At BASK we aim to cater for all and stock from an XS to XXL.

And with that in mind, Do you think there is space for larger men in underwear modelling?

Completely.  We are all about BASKing in confidence, regardless of body type. Embrace you body and style. We encourage all of our customers to ‘tag us in their pants’.

So get tagging those pics Gents!

With the success of your launch and Bask being the hot new name on Instagram we all want to know what’s next. I have heard you are also launching Bask Swimming trunks… when might we see them on sale? (Before my September holiday???) 

You may just be in luck! We are hoping to have our first trunks available by the end of August. Whilst we may miss the UK summer, our customers holiday all year round, and as swimming is such a fantastic activity for health, you may as well BASK in style, comfort and confidence whilst in the pool.

Here’s to that! And I am keeping my fingers crossed!

And most importantly, What makes a Bask Man? 

We don’t like to label our customers into boxes, however, BASK men like to BASK in the confidence of knowing their underwear is better than others.

Whether you’re on the beach or the sofa, enjoying brunch or sipping a glass of Veuve – BASK wants to join you for all your occasions.

Well it’s been great chatting to you – I think I speak for the world of social media when I say that we can’t wait to see what Bask does next…

BASK – Pants so good you won’t know how you coped before them!