OK, you can take the clinging to traditional values too far. Philosophy Football began in ’94 founded by two thirtysomethings, Hugh and Mark, already struggling to cope with the rapid march towards all things information-technological. Plus there was no business grand-plan, still isn’t. The idea was simply a Camus T-shirt for family, friends and work mates’ Christmas presents.
So any orders we received were by post with cheque and post order (do they still exist?). Mark’s one-bedroom Tottenham flat was office and store room, the cat leaving footprints on some of the tees, in busy times the bath was turned into extra storage space. Meantime assorted types would help to pack and process the ever-increasing piles of cheques. One has gone on to become a bestselling author, another heads up a well-respected Think Tank and another is now a Professor.
The cheques? There were so many of the damn things to count we single-handedly kept open the TSB Bruce Grove branch for several years, helping to defy British Banking’s policy of closure of non city and town centre branches.
Credit or Debit cards? Yes eventually, that will do nicely. You could phone to order but the web? That just all seemed a bit new but as thirtysomething turned to early forties we thought we should at least give it a go. We let a number of online sites sell the shirts to see how they would sell, and with this all working out decided to take the big step, well it was for us, and set up our own.
Pre-hipsters (neither Hugh or Mark have, or have ever had a beard) we were at the time based in Shoreditch. An old friend of ours was running a social enterprise and introduced us to two exceptionally bright young things , Phil and Paul, who blinded us with geekery but within the space of a few weeks had come up with a site to suit our spec. The ‘look’ was all Hugh’s, how to organise it mainly Mark’s ideas, the technology all down to Phil and Paul.
We wanted it to look ‘clean’, easy to find the shirt you wanted and make a no-frills purchase. And for around a decade it worked, really well, we wouldn’t still be in business if it hadn’t. But around five years ago we realised it was becoming outdated. It didn’t stop people ordering, and the business growing but the site was clunky, lacking even the most basic features, user-unfriendly as we’ve been taught to say.
Philosophy Football prides itself on being small and perfectly-formed. There’s only the three of us, a vast casual workforce on zero-hour contracts do not apply. All there of us are hands-on, if you call or email us one of us will reply not a faceless machine or standardised response. But that has its downside too, what seemed like a major project, a site redesign, kept being put off plus we lacked the skills and knowledge to do it ourselves.
The wonderful people at Clooti Web Design, Elaine and Rachael, came eventually to our rescue. Like us, a small company, they guided us through the process, showing extreme patience with our woeful ignorance of most things technical. And the end result is what you’re now visiting. It’s still our site, clean and simple, advert and pop-up free. We’ve just made it easier to use, with categories, search button, zoom, pictures of related products and the like.
We’ve expanded the editorial content too. This news page will be updated weekly (do come back and visit us again) for daily updates follow us on twitter. You can find out about us, see FAQs asked, contacts us as well. Further afield there’s our youtube page and a flckr page as well. Blimey, it’s 2015 and we’re twenty-first century already!
If you shopped with us before October 1st 2015. Please read this message regarding checkout