Boyds of Bedford was born in September 2018 and is the brain-child of us; Tom and Jess Answer. We wanted to create a brand to allow us to express our passion for timeless style, fashion and art inspired by motorcycling and hot rod culture.
In January 2020 Boyds was relocated from a little shop in Bedford, out to a new, location in Stagsden. Our intention was to create a meeting point and social space for classic and custom bike and car enthusiasts and retail space for our hand printed garments and clothing and lifestyle goods from other brands we admire alongside a licensed cafe and bar.
2020 had other ideas. Sadly, despite a really successful opening, the global pandemic meant that Boyds closed its doors in March and they remained closed until July.
Upon reopening Boyds was once again buoyant, but the honeymoon period was short lived as restrictive social distancing measures, continued financial uncertainly and the extended period of closure critically damaged cash flow and limited the income of our customers.
At our lowest point, we were ready to end the Boyds brand all together, but the continued messages of support and good vibes has inspired us to give it one last shot.
To understand where we are now, we have to explain the structure of our business. Boyds is a side project of our main business 'The Vintage Suit Hire Company'. We were very aware that building a brand from scratch would take time and money, and with that we were able to invest profits from VHSC into Boyds to get it off the ground. To date, we have never made a penny from Boyds, reinvesting everything we have made, back into developing our venue, purchasing stock and developing new product.
Sadly, if the impact Covid-19 had on Boyds was bad, the impact it has had on VSHC has been hugely challenging, meaning our income has all but disappeared as pretty much all weddings have been cancelled until at least March 2021. Because of this, VSHC can no longer support Boyds, meaning we have had to shut our doors and liquidate all our stock to help make sure VSHC can survive until things return to relative normality.
So where does this leave Boyds? Well, we have to start from scratch. No assets, no stock, no staff, just a name and our dear customers. We have formed a new standalone business and need cash to re-boot, get us some wheels (we had to sell our van), launch some new products, pay for the software that runs the store and provide a platform for us to put on meets and trade at shows.
With the rewards we have put together, we hope that this is less about charity, and more about us seeing if there is an appetite for more of what we do. If there is, then we will give it another shot, if not we will admit defeat.
We have worked with local designer, Boyds regular and friend Mr. Mogs to develop a new design for this campaign
The Boyds Vintage 'B-Twin' design is inspired by a 1954 Triumph twin parallel motorcycle engine - an enduring icon of British hand-built.
We need to celebrate crusty old survivors - they're our rattling reminders to keep on kicking, thumping, and spitting fire in the face of everything life throws at us.
*Size guides for the garments are in the project updates.
We have also thrown our 'I'd Rather Be at Boyds' Koozie and classic patch beanie into the mix.
Boyds was amazing, but it always had its limitations. We wanted to open into the summer evenings and host meets at our location, but we always knew that this wouldn't be possible in Stagsden which is a small and picturesque village. It also was expensive to resource because of its size so we want to take it away from Stagsden and where it belongs... On the road.
We plan to raise money to make a mobile Boyds pop-up shop. We want to be able to continue to showcase and sell our own brand products, be a social hub and if we achieve our stretch target, have the capability of serving coffee and drinks (Jess wants a moonshine bar).
Our plan is to have an established location where we will host meets at least monthly throughout the warmer seasons, but also take Boyds to our wide customer base at shows and meets across the country.
This is where we need your help.
So that's it, if you want to keep Boyds alive this is how. If successful we plan to have the show back on the road ready for the 2021 season when the good weather returns and have a product offering ready for retailing online in time for Christmas. Sadly, we won't be re-opening the doors at Stagsden, but who knows, if we can continue to grow the brand, we may be able to open a new standalone location in a few years!
Thanks for your support!
Tom, Jess and the Boyds Family