Recently I was lucky enough to meet Rachel and Mike who are the dream team behind I Love My Postcode and fellow residents of Shepherd’s Bush. I Love My Postcode is the brainchild of Rachel who told me over a cup of tea and a Banoffee Muffin (good old Morrisons!) that she harvested the idea after she and husband Mike received a number of “postcode” T-Shirts from a friend as they moved from Norwich to many different places in London. Two years ago having harboured a long term desire to start up her own business Rachel took the proverbial plunge and began trading as I Love My Postcode in October 2008. The idea is simple and, though I’m a little bit biased after their cat Percival flirted shamelessly with me, it really is one of those “why hasn’t anyone done this before?” ideas.
I’ve always been inspired by people who show entrepreneurial flair and passion. All of which I know Rachel and Mike have plenty of but I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't mention that there has also been many hours of hard graft; from market research to market stalls, to flyering, to approaching newspapers, and tweeting the night away. They've worked hard to get to where ILMP is now – getting orders for many different postcodes across the UK. Rachel told me she’s even had an order from the Isle of Coll (or PA78 to the locals) up in Scottish Hebrides. They started just doing T-shirts, but you can now buy hoodies, baby-grows and even pants with your postcode on them declaring your love of where you live. Hence the intrigue of a Bird who blogs about the goings on in her postcode. The icing on the muffin was discovering that they were local residents too! And I now have pants saying that I love my Bush. So to speak. What's more, they were literally hot pants. At least hot off the press, as I was lucky enough to watch them being made.
Rachel uses snazzy American Apparel clothing and prints any UK postcode to order and as long as she is able to accommodate she is open to taking special requests or making slight adjustments. The pants were a special offer in time for Valentine’s Day (they are also currently doing two T-Shirts for £30) and ILMP offer free postage on all UK orders. I asked Rachel which postcode was the most popular keeping fingers and toes crossed for W12 (or W6 at a push). But after some quick tapping away she told me that it was actually N16 but there was a valid reason for this as she used to sell N16 stock in a shop to the Stokey N massive. W12 came in as second and after that was SE10, followed by NW6 (thanks in part to @WHampstead) and then NW1 making up the top 5. But this is potentially to change as Rachel recently expanded from London only to do all UK postcodes.
I Love My Postcode clothes are a great idea for presents. I’m going to buy some T-Shirts for my brother who’s just bought his first property in Hampshire and I’ve also placed an order for a few friends who love their postcodes and pants as much as I do. Or if they don’t, well it’ll be a useful reminder of where they live should they ever forget it.
During the evening Rachel and I also had a good chat about Twitter, agreeing that it’s a marvellous and effective virtual word of mouth. As much as ILMP is her exciting new venture, so is this blog mine and we both acknowledged that Twitter has been wonderful in terms of progression and interaction with our target markets. I can certainly say now that I’m personally very grateful for Twitter as it put me in touch with Rachel and I Love My Postcode which I will enjoy watching grow and grow. (You can follow I Love My Postcode's Twitter here and here's mine.)
I love my postcode and I love my W12 pants.