“One thing at a time, as beautifully as possible”
There’s a lovely description on Thom Barnett’s Mamnick website that explains where his company name comes from. No, it isn’t some strange South Yorkshire reference to Nick’s mam (whoever she might be), but the logo does give a bit of a clue.
Mam Nick is, in fact, one of the many hard cycle climbs on our doorstep in the Peak District. It’s a long windswept climb that, even for the superfit, is a big struggle. But, like most struggles, getting to the top is what makes it all worthwhile – and that makes a good metaphor for the Mamnick ethos.
Mamnick’s clothes and accessories aren’t outsourced to some far flung sweatshop to keep profits up. Thom has found local manufacturers, seamstresses and craftsmen to create the designs to exacting standards; as well as looking good, these are items made to last. In his words, “less is more when it comes to designs for Mamnick. It’s classic with subtle details; the focus is on being well-made by honest people with bags of manufacturing experience, who pay attention to detail down to the very last last stitch.”
This level of care and attention to detail in the manufacturing is matched in all areas of the Mamnick production process – from concept, to design, to packaging. The company’s inventory includes shirts and jackets, many of which take their names from places in the Peaks that Thom likes to visit by bike. The stainless steel “commute clip” is a simple solution to that age-old issue of the cyclist’s oily trouser leg. And the Mamnick take on the King of the Mountains polka dot shirt comes packaged with an exclusive booklet written by former competitive cyclist Tom Southam.
Cycling is, clearly, a big inspiration on Mamnick’s designs. As Thom explains: “in my spare time my passion is for the bike; it’s a positive obsession I can take into old age. That may sound a bit grey, but being out there on the bike had a big effect on me when I finished my degree. It was something to focus my energy on, and drawing creatively on these places gave me an incentive to both work and ride. It sounds far-fetched but I think riding gave me a similar feeling to when you’re in a creative mindset. Spending hours alone in Derbyshire helps me think straight, clears my head of the unimportant things.”
As you set your sights on the challenging climbs of Sheffield and its surrounding, stunning countryside – perhaps with a Mamnick commute clip at your ankle and a polka dot shirt on your back – take a second to remember Thom Barnett’s philosophy. “Do one thing at a time, as beautifully as possible.”
From an interview originally published on Our Favourite Places.