Steel and Jelly: Contemporary and Traditional Menswear in Grand Central

 

With their new store just opened in Grand Central, we're keen to find out about the people behind Steel and Jelly.

Who's behind Steel and Jelly?

Established in 2004, the brand name embraces the contrasting industrious (Steel) and benevolent (Jelly) approaches that father and son took when first starting the business. Their 40 years’ experience in the ever evolving fashion industry has led to the formation of the Steel & Jelly brand.

What made you want to open in Grand Central?

“In line with our recent program of expansion, we are very excited to be opening our new flagship store in Birmingham’s Grand Central Station. This major new transport & retail hub in the heart of the region is the perfect location to meet the growing demand for, and increasing interest in the brand. As well as welcoming those local to the region, we’ll be able to reach new customers from all over the country who will be travelling through the new station.”

What would you want a new customer to experience when they enter the store?

With a team of dedicated and skilled retail staff, the store will differentiate itself by offering a personal shopping style experience on the high street.

What makes your menswear business unique?

Our philosophy centres on scrupulous attention to detail. We are passionate about embracing innovative British design by creating a hybrid of the contemporary and the traditional.  Every item is made with the modern-day gentleman in mind by threading the past through to the present with masculine shapes and styles.

What inspires the designs?

We are very much inspired by British design & scrupulous attention to detail. Our collection features all the essentials in a modern-day gentleman’s wardrobe from formal tailoring to soft casuals and premium accessories to finish the look. Each piece carries an element of surprise from a patterned trim inside a collar, to a contrasting button thread reflecting our ethos “Because detail matters.”

What are you working on for your next collection?

Top secret! We are however continuously expanding our product range…

By Rickie J, founder of Birmingham Favourites and a woman who doesn't think eight (very full) wardrobes is excessive.

@BrumFaves @RickieWrites

 

Laundry Made Simple With Laundrapp

The "L" word, it sparks fear into a lot of us - particularly males. Our palms become sweaty, our minds race and we begin to panic, often fumbling around hoping that we're doing it right.

Of course, I'm talking about laundry. It's something which I'll hold my hands up to not being very good at. I understand and can do the basics, such as splitting up dark clothing from the white clothing and I know never to add a red item to white laundry. I'm also fairly nifty at hanging the washing out once it has been done. But that bit in the middle, involving the strange white contraption in the kitchen (also known as the washing machine) has me bamboozled.

Thankfully there's now an app to help with the laundry, known as Laundrapp.

You may remember last month we had a competition for one lucky reader to win the chance to get their laundry done for free. The good people behind Laundrapp also offered Birmingham Favourites the chance to review the service - and I snapped up the chance.

After receiving a special code as part of the review, I began to flick through the app (which I'd downloaded onto my smart phone), in the hope of making a decision on which of the laundry we had should be sent off to be washed.

The list of packages on offer, combined with the great prices offered, made it hard to decide. For example, an 8kg bag of laundry (excluding bedding and towels), which is washed on a 30 degree wash and tumble dried, can be done for £14.50, whilst a two-piece suit can be washed for as little as £11.

After some careful consideration, I opted to get a tie washed (okay, I'd just spilt something on it, leaving a greasy mark) and a blanket which is used as part of Tilly's (our pooches) bed. As you can imagine, Tilly's blanket had a bit of a doggy whiff to it, so it seemed a bit of a challenge as to how clean they could get it.

Before completing the order, Tilly tweeted Laundrapp to see if her blanket was classed as a blanket by them - and they were quick to respond, with a nice personal tweet too. So far, so good!

Confirmation received that the blanket was good to go, the process continued. First selecting a collection day and time, followed by a delivery day and time. Laundrapp has a range of options available with hour time slots, making it easier to arrange for your laundry to be collected and delivered to fit in with a busy schedule.

Navigating throughout the app was easy to do, as was adding the payment details - without having to click on lots of boxes which many sites require making them almost impossible to use on a phone.

With the order placed, a confirmation email was quickly sent from Laundrapp confirming details of order - with the collection of the laundry coming a few days later.

Although the collection of our laundry was slightly later than we'd requested, the service cannot be faulted. And with the items back with us, there are no complains.

The tie is as clean as the day I purchased it, whilst Tilly's blanket is spotless, smelling fresh and extremely soft. Tilly seems to approve too.

Overall, a top service from Laundrapp - and a service I would highly recommend for anyone who wants to take the chore of laundry out of their lives!

Find out what Tilly thinks of @Laundrapp by tweeting her @T1lly_dog

By Michael Younger, Copywriter by nature, Twitter user (@myounger14) & laundry novice.

Business news: Dorothy's Vintage

Here at Birmingham Favourites, we love to highlight business stories from home based businesses – the ones we rarely here about in the media!

So it was great to hear from Emma Morley, who has just launched a business with her mother Jayne. They’re both fans of vintage (or shabby chic) china and having amassed a fine collection, decided to turn their interest into a business.

Inspired by Jayne's own vintage wedding in 2013, Dorothy’s Vintage specialises in the hire of ‘beautiful vintage china as well as providing afternoon tea services for all type of events’. Mum and daughter can't wait to share their ‘wonderful collection with the world!'

What’s different is that these two vintage fans invite potential customers to their 60s garden summerhouse, named Sheila, to get a feel for the service. Here they experience the afternoon tea while discussing what they want for their event and their budget. Customers go away knowing Dorothy's Vintage have built them ‘a truly bespoke service' for their special event.

While Emma takes care of the social media and marketing, her mum cannot help but find amazing china to add to the collection!

To find out more about Dorothy’s Vintage, named after Emma’s grandmother, take a look at the website or follow @dorothysvintage.  Contact on dorothysvintage@gmail.com.

Wanted: Small Business News

Where is all the good news from the micro business?

You know, the business that is mostly run from home where a shop front or office is unnecessary?

Well from now on, it's going to be right here on Birmingham Favourites!

So send us your good news if you are a micro business, even if you're part time, working from home.

The good news we'd like to know about:

  • New business launch

  • New initiative

  • Event

  • Winning award

  • Anything different

  • Business successes

  • Major life changing news

Please complete the form below or email us with your news. If we're including it, we'll ask you to supply one or two appropriate photos too. And remember, we want to tell the world all about your GOOD news!

[contact-form][contact-field label='Business name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url' required='1'/][contact-field label='My news (150 words max)' type='textarea' required='1'/][contact-field label='Twitter name' type='text'/][contact-field label='Mobile number' type='text' required='1'/][contact-field label='Name' type='text'/][/contact-form]