Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus!

Or, as you may say, Happy St David’s Day!

We spend a lot of time here at Who Made Your Pants? learning about each others cultures and backgrounds and as a proud, although accent less nowadays, Welsh woman I am delighted to say that the team have pronounced Welsh Cakes ‘delicious’. I quite agree – they and bara brith are firm favourites of mine.

This weekend, to mark and celebrate St David’s Day, we’re running an offer – 15% off our Red collection, after the dragon on the flag of the land of my childhood and my father. But I thought I’d share a few stories about Wales with you, for fun.

St David was a man who stood on the ground in Llandewi Brefi (yes it is a real place) and it rose under him as he preached. St David’s, the city named for him, is the smallest city in the UK – it is TEENY, with a population of under 2000 people.

On St David’s Day, children are dressed in what is thought of as Welsh traditional dress. Little girls wear a plaid skirt and an apron edged in lace, a white shirt and a shawl, and a black hat or bonnet with white lace around the inside. Boys wear trousers, a shirt and waistcoat, and a flat cap. Both – and adults too – may pin a daffodil to their lapel. When I was in infant school, we would sometime wear leeks. There was usually at least one small boy every year sick from eating the leek on his jersey, raw. Oftentimes, those leeks were almost the size of the small boy – this was before they had invented fabric leek badges. I think. Oh, happy days…

There are events celebrating St David’s Day thorough Wales of course but also as far as as Los Angeles and in, um, Disneyland Paris….

We Welsh are famous for our singing. You may well have heard of the Manic Street Preachers,  Catherine Jenkins, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey – but have you heard of Max Boyce? I would urge you to listen to his ballad of Morgan the Moon about the first man to land on the moon – Welsh man no less. And that is a True Fact *coff coff*

For more things Welsh, I’ve added some lovely pictures of all things Welsh to our Homelands board on Pinterest. I hope you enjoy them.

Whatever you do this St David’s Day I hope you have a Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus!

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Right here, right now, right here, right now..

Good morning all! How are you today? It’s sunny and bright out there and don’t I feel better for it.

Things here at pants HQ are still pressurised and we are very much doing what we call firefighting – just the urgent stuff, nothing else. Della has been reduced to packing my kit for events rather than, oh, managing staff or writing management plans and reports, as we’ve been massively short on woman power. But today feels a brighter day. We’ve a great atmosphere here today – lots of women in the production area,a good number of volunteers, and that elusive sunshine filtering in through the windows.

So, what’s happened since I last wrote? I’ve done a few tiny posts but my last proper entry was the 8th Feb – my desperate oh oh woe post. Thanks so much to everyone who got in touch afterwards – real support and help are invaluable. Thank you. Since then, plenty has happened. We’ve finalised our colour plans for the year and sorted out what colour bows, threads and gussets we need. I’ve started my mammoth events calendar. Through March I have eight separate things to be at, and am working some nights until eleven pm (sob) so there has been a scheduling task to make sure I take the time back and don’t conk out, but then also catch up with Della. If I’m out at events, then out taking time in lieu, I’m not here and it’s amazing how fast Della and I can get disconnected and lose track of what each other is doing.

Our new press assistant April is doing really well, she’s keen and competent and comes to me with lists of questions and also suggested solutions – bliss! We’re putting some press out, hopefully today, as a call for BUMS – we need bum models! We’ve had some good press too – I was very proud to be featured in the South Wales Echo, a newspaper from my childhood! Have a look at these links if you’ve not seen them yet.

http://www.ogunte.com/innovation/featured-women-socinn/324-becky-john-who-made-your-pants
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/03/01/becky-unveils-her-patriotic-pants-91466-28252876/

We’ve also had out first photos from our new photography assistant. Looking good. I’m excited about getting photos of our new gift sets soon too. They make me so happy! Another volunteer, Aga, has been rifling through the boxes of ribbons we’ve been sent from Lush – they are extras from their gift department and we’re going to turn them into gift wrap for our sets. I want to play…!

We’re starting to get more applications for voluntary work in response to the calls I’ve been putting out. I’ve had a great meeting with Southampton Voluntary Services (long may they continue – I’m personally terrified for them that they will be cut. How the hell are we supposed to have this ‘Big Society’ run by volunteers if there is no support and training for volunteers? My mind boggles…) We’re getting clearer about what we need – we need a minimum of 6 hours a week and a commitment of at least ten weeks. It takes four week for someone to learn where things are and how to do things and it can be a huge drain on Della’s time if she has to constantly support people. We’ve agreed that, in future, we’ll be happy to open up more volunteer roles to people who need us, but right now, we need people who can help us. The reality is, BIg Society watchers, that it is A Very Hard thing to find experienced, competent people who will do the work, unpaid for enough hours to *run* an organisation or activity – they tend to, erm, have jobs, and be busy. Mr Cameron, take note!

What else? Oh! we’ve launched some super smashing splendid pants for St Davids Day and ran a competition about it too – see previous posts – and we’ll announce the winner soon. They are gorgeous and the lace is great quality – it feels nice and strong and supportive without being too weighty. I’m quite demanding about the lace that we take on – it;s easy to get carried away with all the pretty colours but we need it to have certain stretch qualities and it;s best if it’s a certain width as it means less tweaking of patterns.

I’ve been to my very first RSA event and had a lovely time. I’m looking forward to getting more plugged in to their networks and events programmes. The library blew me away – I’m a complete bibliophile and had purposely taken no bag so I could not take loads of books home. I limited myself to two and am going through them with delight.

What else.. I’ve been filmed by Midshires Co-op for a film on ‘why co-ops’, applied for bursaries to hold two co-ops events, been to PURE London, a huge fashion trade show – I love the shuttle buses between the two venue. Old Routemasters! Have had a meeting with another local place about a refugee/co-ops event in summer, appointed a new Committee member, been approached by a newswire, done a volunteering fair at the University of Southampton, started the process of moving our website to a new hosting and development solution (thank you to J who hosted, developed and supported for soooo long) written a reference, caught up with local happenings at the City Council,met Ethiopian and Eritrean women, spoken for the University Feminist Society, arranged to be at the University for two International Womens Day events, written template lists of what I need for different sorts of events, played with bows for colour matching. Busy busy. And we now employ ten women part time, and are training one more. I LOVE that.

If you want to come and see me, I’ll be at a bunch of events in March. Highlights are…

3rd March
Evening sales stall at Fashion on the Age of Austerity at V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green.

7th March 2011 TBC
Evening sales stall and Speaking at a Student Union IWD event Uni Southampton

8th March International Women’s Day
Sales stall, Uni of Southampton, 10-4 with University Feminist Society, selling pants on campus and promoting us.

http://www.teapigs.co.uk will be running a discount code promo and competition to their 16000 strong mailing list 7th March ref IWD.

10-13 March WOW festival
Speaking 12-1 on the 12 March, selling stall all day Saturday

17th, 18th March Responsible Business Event.
We’ll have a stall exhibiting both days and I will be speaking at a seminar for 20 mins on Friday 18th.

Maybe see you there? If not, happy March!

Love

Becky
x

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Competition time – name that flower!

Celebrate Wales’ win in the rugby, and Dyydd Gwyl Dewi Sant with some super smashing new pants!

Prynhawn da my lovelies! Do bo chi?

If you were cheering Stephen Jones and praying to the rugby gods for a Shane Williams dash, if you love pants, know your leeks, and can sing Calon Lan or Sosban Fach, have we got a competition for you! Pants based prizes galore!

Buy a pair of our patriotic pants

on the day itself and you can be entered into our prize draw. All you need to do is put the answer to this question in the discount code field when you purchase.

Which flower would traditionally be worn on March 1st?

One lucky winner will win first prize, then there are two second prizes and five runners up prizes.

First prize (x1)
One of three special hand-finished-by-Becky red Aimee pants. Finished with green and white bows, like our gorgeous Welsh Red Dragon flag.
Ethically made whomadeyourpants? T shirt (sizes fitted SML, XL)
A free downloadable album featuring music donated by New Model Army, Howard Jones, Kajagoogoo and subgiant
A whomadeyourpants? badge

Second prizes (x2)
One of three special hand-finished-by-Becky red Aimee pants. Finished with green and white bows, like our gorgeous Welsh Red Dragon flag.
A free downloadable album featuring music donated by New Model Army, Howard Jones, Kajagoogoo and subgiant
A whomadeyourpants? badge

Runners Up (x5)
A free downloadable album featuring music donated by New Model Army, Howard Jones, Kajagoogoo and subgiant
A whomadeyourpants? badge

Winners will be picked at random. Competition open from 00.01 1st March 2011 to 23.59 1st March 2011.

Good luck!

Becky

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