Welcome to the second in our series introducing you to each of us: the Ten of Clubs Collective.
You’ll learn about what each of us does, what inspires us, our likes and dislikes, and other moist titbits. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Skev. I’m 26. I’m the founder, creative director, and a designer at TEN OF CLUBS. I also manage our social media channels. We've all got roles and responsibilities, but really we all just help each other out.
No two days are the same. One day you're writing a business plan and the next you're designing new threads, or modelling, or stocktaking, or whatever. It's the way it has to be.
What did you do before TEN OF CLUBS?
I’m a freelance graphic designer and photographer. I've worked for multiple clients over the years. I’ve done a lot of product photography in previous roles, especially jewellery.
We're actually looking at making and selling our own rings – we’ve got some really cool designs – so watch this space.
What’s behind the name?
I came up with it. It was my grandad's favourite card – a kind of good luck charm for him. He would always point it out when we were playing cards, so it just became a family thing.
Each card in a deck has some meaning, and the Ten of Clubs means luck and good fortune. As well as the personal connection, the name seemed a good fit for what we wanted to do.
We never considered any other name. This was always going to be TEN OF CLUBS. I think my grandad, Ernie, would be proud of what we’re doing.
Which is your favourite from the things we make and sell?
My favourite is probably the Runes Cap Black. I wear mine almost constantly. It’s suitably dogeared now, but that just makes me like it more.
What’s the best item of clothing you own, not including TOC garms?
I’ve got a beaten-up leather jacket which has been all over the world with me. Its scars tell the tales of many a drunken adventure in unfamiliar countries; most notably, the time I went over the handlebars on a rusty bike in Amsterdam and smashed my face in.
It was a mate's bike, or so I thought. When challenged, it turned out he was less than clear on how he actually came to be in possession of it... Karma's a bitch, even when it's karma by proxy!
What are your go-to places for clothes?
The metal band Spiritbox makes some very spicy stuff. You should check them out. I get my gear from all kinds of places. I use Etsy for secondhand stuff, and Flatspot for new gear. I also get a lot from charity shops. Can’t beat the charity steaze!
What artists do you like?
A specific artist I've recently discovered is Jack Devereux. He’s a guy from Melbourne that draws in a minimalist style, linking many faces into each other in lots of cool ways. You should take a look at his work.
Now, to really get to know you and probe your secret areas, some quick-fire questions randomly selected by the TOC-2000 supercomputer.
Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.
One - I can do a Rubik’s cube one-handed. Two - I play guitar and have done since I was seven. And three - I can say the really long name of that train station in Wales: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Do you have any odd habits?
I bite my fingernails and use the clippings to floss between my teeth. Is that odd? Is it gross? Yes!
What movie title best sums up your life?
The Hangover. Not because I've woken up newly married to a prostitute, but just because I seem to have a lot of hangovers!
What’s something you’ve been meaning to try, but just haven’t got round to yet?
Learn to drive. I had a couple of lessons years ago. I was doing okay and quite enjoying it. I think I just got short of money, so took a break. Turns out it was a long break.
What would be your dream car, if you could drive?
BMW 2002 Tii. Black. A timeless classic.
What would you rate 10 out of 10?
First poo of the day!
How do you relax after a busy day at the TOC coalface?
I make some nice food, play guitar for a bit, then play video games till the wee small hours. I’m playing a lot of Hitman 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2 at the moment.
And what would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
A piss-up in a new city with a group of mates. Somewhere like Edinburgh. That’s an awesome city.
What pets do you have?
None now, but I’ve had four goldfish – all called Jake. They didn't last long, sadly, so it was just easier to give them all the same name. My dad has a brilliant Labradoodle called Spitfire.
What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?
I was once lost in a blizzard on a snowy mountain in Bulgaria, on my own, with a messed-up knee. I was skiing and got separated from everyone else. I was completely lost, night was drawing in, and I was sure I was toast!
Then, luckily, I crossed paths with some mountain rescue people on a snowmobile. I struggled to make myself understood, with lots of pointing at my busted knee, and they gave me a lift down the mountain. No long-term damage done. I lay in bed for a day, and was back in the bar for the rest of the holiday.
What irrational fears or phobias do you have?
I’m scared of heights – not majorly, but enough to make my legs go. Also, I guess it’s not strictly a phobia but just something I hate, I can’t stand noisy eaters. If I heard you chewing, I’d have to leave.
Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide what to listen to?
Either Soundgarden or Audio Slave. Chris Cornell is my boy! I was crushed when I heard he’d died.
What’s your favourite smell?
Old pub. You know, the smell of an open fire, stale booze, and a hint a cigarette smoke. Perfect! I guess I just like pubs. I’ve done a fair bit of bar work over the years.
What’s the dumbest things you’ve ever done?
When I was 18, I was going with a group of friends to Dimensions Festival in Croatia. A mate and I thought we’d save money by getting a cheap flight to someplace, to then hitchhike the rest of the way. So we flew to Nice in France. I don’t know why we thought this would be a good idea. It’s like 800 miles from where we needed to be!
We walked from Nice to Monaco on the first day, which is about 10 miles or so, and slept under a flight of stairs in a train station. We tried hitchhiking, but got zero lifts from anyone! We took trains in the end.
We slept on the streets for 10 nights as we crossed Europe. When we eventually got to Croatia, we surprised our mates at their hotel by pretending to be room service. We crashed on their floor for the next 2 nights, before finally getting to the festival. Great festival!
What’s your proudest achievement?
Easy – TEN OF CLUBS!
The interrogation is over. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Yeah, I’d like to thank everyone that has bought from us, joined our mailing list, followed us on social media, liked or shared a post, or just told someone about us. You're all now part of the TOC Collective!
Starting a business is bloody satisfying and bloody hard work. I know we all get a buzz from knowing that people like what we’re doing, so big thanks to everyone who's supported us. Spread the word!