Sunday 13 October 2013

Cheesy Christmas Jumpers - Take Two: An Interview AND A Jumper Review

Earlier this week, I introduced my blog to it's first taste of Christmas goodness when I posted about Bradford based company Cheesy Christmas Jumpers.
(Post can be found here)

Since that post went live, the brilliant Paul and Mark Everett - Cheesy Christmas Jumpers founders - have sent me not one but TWO of their fantastic jumpers to review*.

Christmas came a little early for me I think.

I was also lucky enough to bag a little bit of a mini interview with the people behind Cheesy Christmas Jumpers too!
Hope you enjoy....

• Do you think of the designs of the products yourself?
I’m always playing about with new ideas and designs, I think about Christmas Jumpers 365 days of the year.  I take lots of inspiration from the 80′s American ugly Christmas sweater era by creating a garment that will look truly vintage but with the high quality production of a modern knit.  Every time I design a new jumper I always remember the brands name ‘Cheesy’, this makes me stay within the brands identity and keeps the designs unique to the Cheesy Christmas Jumpers brand. I’m not designing a garment you would find in your high street fashion shops or on a Milan Catwalk.
• How did you manage to get noticed so quickly to become a favourite with the celebs?
When we first started out in 2009 their was only a few other companies producing Christmas Jumpers. So when the TV companies needed a Christmas Jumper they just started to contact us. We always dealt with them in a friendly manner and made sure that we bent over backwards to get them what they wanted to their sometimes very tight deadlines. If it had meant driving down to London to deliver the jumpers in person, we'd have done it. This over the years then created a bond and we are now one of the top contacts for TV production companies when they need a Cheesy Christmas Jumper.

• There are A LOT of different jumpers around at Christmas time, what do you think sets Cheesy Christmas Jumpers apart from other retailers?
Each year with have grown our brand and adjusted to the ever changing and growing market.  In recent years the big retailers have started selling Christmas Jumpers and we cannot compete with some of their prices and marketing budgets but make sure we compete by producing a high quality garment with unique customer service.
We are also the only (to date) UK company to sell the LED lighted Christmas Jumper. This gives us an edge over other companies due to the high demand for such a product. Because of the high end production time of the lightup Christmas jumper we cannot see any big retailer producing one. We have spent years developing the lighted Christmas jumper range so we already have a head start over any other brand that wants to start developing them.

• With the need for Christmas Jumpers being limited to such a small part of the year, do you put the company on a "back burner" for the majority of the year?
No, not at all. As soon as the festive season has finished for one year we need to start developing our new range for the following season. January is when we start getting our new samples made, and over the first few months of the year we start to develop the new collection. Once we are happy with our new range we then spend the next few months planning our website and social media strategies. We also need to start organising our Christmas Jumper Party, photoshoot and launch party. This all needs to be done and in place before or early September launch date.

• Do you have other jobs away from "festive cheese"?
Cheesy Christmas Jumpers is part of the Paul Everett Print and Design family. Paul Everett Print and Design is a family run business in Bradford which was formed in 1985. We provide all your printing needs alongside our other online businesses:

• You offer a "Rent A Sweater" scheme at events - which I think is fab - can you tell us more about this?
Our Rent'A'Sweater is one of the way's we plan to raise money for our charity fund at our Charity Christmas Jumper Party. So if people don't have a sweater, are buying on a budget or just love a vintage Christmas sweater with a difference then our Rent'A'Sweater is great for them.
Each sweater is available to rent for £20 and you will get £10 back if you return the sweater. Or if you fall in love with the garment and can't bare to let go, then just keep it! All proceeds from the Rent'A'Sweater go directly to our charity fund.
We aim this in the run up to our charity event via our facebook page, in store and at the event itself.

• Your latest charity event is being held at Moo Restaurant - why did you choose Moo as the venue?
I've known manager Jonathon Davies since I was a wee nipper as we use to go to the same school. I've followed his progress in the catering industry over the past few years, and once he announced he was opening Moo then this was my number one choice. I wanted the charity event to take place in Bradford and I needed a venue that would make people want to attend. By holding part of the event at Moo, we can now offer a high quality 2 course meal for our guests which will be the perfect start to our Christmas Jumper Party. Arranging the event with Jonny is easy because he understands the direction we are going in and he's allowed us the freedom to grow the event.

• Anything in the pipeline for Christmas 2014, or are you focused on the here and now at the moment?
We are fully focused for the season ahead because we fully expect it to be our toughest yet. The big retailers are investing heavily in not only products, but marketing and SEO. We believe the independent Christmas Jumper brands are the heart beat of the Christmas Jumper industry and we aim to be part of it for years to come. I still have ideas and plans for 2014 and even 2015 but for now my full attention is on this year. 

Fantastic Stuff eh!
So now you know a little bit more about the people behind the products, I think it's about time I showed you a few of them.

The first item is the Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Sweatshirt priced at a very reasonable £19.99.  This sweatshirt is unisex, so both men and women can enjoy it's bright festive feel.
This is a 2013 remake of the sweatshirt that was worn in 2010 on ITV by Keith Lemon, only now it sports an adorable glittery nose and tongue.

I love it

Red is one of my favourite colours to wear,and I don't think Christmas would be Christmas without it!
I will definitely be wearing this sweatshirt for a very festive night on the town.

I have styled the sweatshirt here with a "Christmas Party" in mind, and have chosen a black leather-look skater skirt and black high wedge heels.
I would complete the look with a large over-sized black clutch bag and black jewellery.

Perfect for a few Christmas drinks - 
Who said sweatshirts can't be styled up for a night out.

Not only is this sweatshirt an amazing colour and has Rudolph emblazed on the front (does it get more Christmassy than that?), it is also slightly fleecy inside, so will keep me all snuggly, toasty and warm.

The sizing is great too.
This is a 'small' which fits me perfectly (I'm a size 10).  It still feels a little "over-sized" and isn't skin tight - which is perfecto for me.

My second jumper is a total full on representation of a what a Cheesy Christmas Jumper should look like in my opinion, and I blooming adore it!

This particular knitted jumper isn't even on sale yet, so I feel extremely lucky to have it already.

It is part of the LED Lighted Range and I can't get enough of it - it really is amazing.

This range of jumpers are knitted using a wool/acrylic mix, and as you can see, this one is very obviously varying shades of blue in colour.

It is showing a perfect Christmas Eve scene, with Santa in his Sleigh delivering all of his presents!  :)
It is flecked all over with silver too, which I reckon represents snow falling very nicely.

THE absolute best bit though, is that when you switch on the tiny battery pack concealed inside the left seam, the teeny tiny LED lights surrounding Santa and his Reindeer flash a brilliant blue colour.

The inside of the jumper is covered over with a polyester lining, to obviously stop the lights and wires coming into contact with the body.  The battery is so tiny and discreet, it is almost impossible to find. 
It definitely isn't noticeable when you are wearing the jumper.

With it being knitted, it is a slightly tighter fit that the Rudolph Sweatshirt, but a 'small' still fits me fine.

This jumper will 100% be the main component for my Christmas Day Outfit.
I think I'll be wearing this with a trusty pair of jeans and some good old Converse Pumps...or more ideally - my slippers!

Equally - it would be a real talking point at any Christmas gathering, so slipping on a pair of heels and black skinny jeans would work just as good with it.

I absolutely love love love Cheesy Christmas Jumpers and I think everybody should own at least one of these amazing, festive creations.

Is it too early to start wearing mine yet...?
*PR Samples

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