22 Stone to Team GB!

As a company, we’ve recently started eating more fruit, we even had a monthly reward of fruit baskets which went down a treat! We’ve got rid of our “emergency chocolate box” from the office to encourage staff to be healthier, and we’ve got a ‘bike to work scheme’ that came in to play earlier this month, which is both good for the environment, cutting down our carbon footprint, improve our health, and helps with the parking situation at the warehouse.

Paul Sellars is our operations director, he has been the main influence behind all of this health and fitness; he joined the company towards the end of last year, and the more I hear about everything he does, the more I’m interested so I thought I’d share it with the world!

Paul - before and after

Paul – before and after

In 2000 Paul had an incident of Atrial Fibrillation and as part of a week’s stay in Warrington hospital he was electric shocked to get his heart back into rhythm. In 2004 the same thing happened in Tenerife, but this time he had intravenous drugs to reset the heart beat. In 2010 he had about 6 attacks in 6 months and ended up seeing a cardiac specialist who gave him 3 choices:

1) drugs with potentially life endangering side effects
2) an operation to scar part of his heart to stop it going out of rhythm, with life endangering side effects
3) stop drinking, change your diet and do some exercise.

He was actually considering these options whilst on holiday in France in the summer of 2010, when his heart went out of rhythm again, and that was that – decision made, to him life is more important than booze, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chips etc.

When Paul and his family got home, he started to run a 3k loop – he says he stopped about 10 times on the way round for the first few times, and he watched his son disappear into the distance, running ahead of him.  Gradually he got fitter and got to a point where their home scales, that max out at 20 stone, started to register him! He then did his first competitive 10k run in September 2011 which took about 51 minutes, and his first triathlon was in Wilmslow in the summer of 2012.

Paul said “not drinking was the easy bit, and my wife (Ann) sorted the diet bit, making me healthy meals and keeping me away from trash…..it is probably 4 years since I ordered chips, although I have maintained a healthy relationship with chocolate, cake and biscuits throughout my journey!”

Between 2012 and September 2014 he entered several triathlons and long distance runs – Chester Marathon in 2013 and 2014, Barcelona Marathon in 2014, several standard and half iron triathlons, and then finally in September 2014 he achieved the ultimate goal of the full distance triathlon, finishing 7th in his age group.

This year the events that Paul is officially doing for charity are on his Just Giving page which can be accessed online at https://www.justgiving.com/Paul-Sellars1/  But he always ends up adding a few extras in, so in March he did an extra Duathlon and a 30k trail run in Delamere Forest which he won!
If you don’t think that all of this is impressive, this Sunday he is expecting to do a 103 mile bike ride around North Wales and the big “extra” this year is the European Long Distance Triathlon Championships in Weymouth in September – this is the GB team event, and everybody at work is so proud of him that Michael Conway (the MD) even got a t-shirt made up with “Team Sellars” on it and a picture of a Union Jack.
Rach & Charlotte 5k run
A few months ago, two members of our artwork department ran 5k to raise money for The Stroke Association; they managed to raise over £100 between them. They aren’t usually the running types and it wasn’t the best day for it, Charlotte says “that isn’t sweat, it was the rain!”

This photograph was sprung on them during a monthly update, and of course congratulations is always encouraging and makes other people think how they could improve.

In terms of training, Paul’s typical week goes like this:

Monday 6am – 152 lengths of the swimming pool – 3.8km
Monday 6pm – strength session in the gym
Tuesday 6am – 20km run into work (park the car on the trans Pennine trail)
Tuesday 5pm – 20km bike back to the car
Wednesday 6am – 50km bike into work
Wednesday 5pm – 50km bike home
Thursday 6am – 15km – 20km run
Friday 6am – 80 lengths of the swimming pool followed by strength session in the gym
Saturday 8am – 120km bike ride
Sunday 9am (lie in for him!) – 25km – 30km run

Most days he also does a 20 minute abdominal work out because “a strong core is essential in this game! I do mix things up a bit depending on the weather and up coming events, but that is the standard!”

So as you can see, most of his training is done instead of sleep (although he is lucky in that 6-7 hours sleep is enough for him thankfully).  He says he’s “also lucky that my wife is massively supportive and also enjoys gym work too – so when I go out on Sat and Sun morning, she goes to the gym for the morning too.  I do try to keep a balance between work / home / training but that is a big challenge – hence why I try to take advantage of coming and going to work, rather than sitting in traffic on the motorway!!”

In 2007, Paul’s dad died from Prostate Cancer, so until now, all of his charity work has been done in support of Prostate Cancer UK.

Paul in Barcelona

Paul with his running vest in memory of his dad

This photograph is of him after the Barcelona Marathon wearing a T-shirt that his daughter (Rachel) got designed for him with a picture of his dad on, and the Prostate logo on the back – “I still wear this for all pure running events just to raise awareness and keep my dad’s memory alive!  Last year I raised £1200 for Prostate Cancer.”

This man really is an inspiration, and I think his story is awesome. I know of a fair few people who are going to partake in the Bike To Work Scheme, and I myself will definitely be starting to do more exercise, and getting a vest printed just so I feel cool.

Are you doing anything fitness related to raise money for charity? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, send us a picture on Instagram, or leave a message on here!

 

Glossary of Terms

Atrial Fibrillation – a situation where rogue electrical pulses make the top 2 chambers of your heart beat very fast (200ish bpm) and irregularly.  The bottom 2 chambers carry on as normal, so blood gets pushed through the heart leaving “ponding” in the lower chambers.  This ponding can lead to clots which when the heart rate returns to normal can be pushed out causing strokes etc .  You become completely knackered – even standing up is a major effort.  In the early days, the treatment was to use defibrillators to shock the heart back into rhythm, over time drugs have been developed to do it, but this takes longer to take effect – 2 days on average

Long Distance Triathlon – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run (generally swimming in the sea or big lakes)

Half Ironman Distance Triathlon – 21.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run

Duathlon run, bike, run format when the water is too cold! Generally 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run

 


Meet the team!

  • Friday, April 17th, 2015  | 
  • Staff

I’ve got this lovely new job and you know what it’s like, being excited and nervous all at the same time… and I’ve only moved departments from customer services to marketing! Well, my name is Jade and part of my new role is to write the Clothes2Order blog. I’m pretty new to blogging (unless reading Bakerella counts) so bear with me, but I thought I’d start by introducing myself and some of the C2O office team.

Over the last 18 months we’ve grown from 25 to 70 people, so I’m going to break it down and start by introducing customer service, marketing, account managers, and the finance team.

Just look at this lot… I see these faces on a daily basis!

Office Staff :-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to know more about some of the faces behind Clothes2order, here are some quick interesting facts about everybody in order of their photos:

Simon: genuinely believes he could have been Mario Kart world champion & used to work for Nick Clegg

Anna: plays the violin, speaks Spanish & used to live in Peru

Jon: was a stunt man in the film Sophie’s Fortune (& I think he looks a bit like Vector from Despicable Me)

Me (Jade): travelled around Australia for 4 months (mainly living in a car) & is getting married in July

Jamie: used to play National League basketball & has a black belt in Ju-Jitsu

Alicia: does the jump splits when she’s drunk, hates being called Alesha & has been on Radio 1 four times

Paul H: plays the drums & used to run a record label

Katy: has emotional eyes (she can’t help but cry when other people do) & has an unusually large tongue

Jim: was a Secret Santa gift & changes his outfit on Fridays, ready to party

Lucie: has been backpacking in Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia & isn’t scared easily

Steve: has traveled to Japan 3 times to watch wrestling & is a massive comic book geek with a tattoo inspired by Justice League and Transformers (he met his previous partner, of 4 years, on a Pokémon forum)

Donna: loves to sing, she used to be in a band & was partial to a bit of drag racing when she was younger

Charlie: dreams of being an author & has lived in England for 3 years

Lauren: has a cheeky 3 year son & is a dangerous driver when he isn’t in the car

Paul S: at age 40, he was 22 stone, drank 40 units of alcohol a week and did zero exercise of any sort.  At age 46, he is 13.5 stone, doesn’t drink, exercises for a minimum of 15 hours per week & on Sunday 13th September 2015 will represent Great Britain in the European Long Distance Triathlon Championship, a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run! WOW!

Alex: has a MEGA loud cough like a seal & is a trained barista

Jon: used to play rugby for York U19’s and North Yorkshire and he once met Jonny Wilkinson at a tournament & he built his first website when he was 15. 18 years on, he’s still happily working in the same field.

Mev: can speak 5 languages & always comes to work in colour co-ordinated outfits

Jonathan: used to be an amateur boxer & has spent the weekend at Dwight Yorke’s house

Emma: doesn’t think she has ever lost an argument & used to get paid to do R-Kelly cornrows on the side

So that’s us! Now if you call or you email, you’ll know a little bit more about the people you’re talking to :-)

Please let me know what you thought of this post, (even if you thought it was naff) I’d like to know about it and I’ll take constructive criticism on board.

Also, is there anything you’d like to read about in future? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter, or simply leave a comment here.


Have you won £250 worth of personalised kit?

Thanks to everyone who entered our competition! Watch our big reveal below as we print the winner’s name on a t-shirt!

If it’s you, congratulations! We’ll send you an email to confirm your win and start producing your £250 worth of C2O clothing and send out your £100 charity donation!

If you haven’t won, we’d like to thank you for entering with 10% off site-wide! Simply use code TENAPR4 at the checkout, expires Fri 17th April:-)


Hell yes, the campaign trail is heating up

  • Wednesday, April 8th, 2015  | 
  • Politics

The battle for number 10 is heating up this week after each mainstream party released their manifestos this week.

It seems we’ve had more failures than successes over the past 6 months in the run up to May 7th, from Tory Education Secretary Nicky Morgan exclaiming last week that failed tests must be “resitted”, to Ed Miliband forgetting to mention the deficit at his party conference in Manchester at the end of last year.

It all got a bit too personal for the two main party leaders a couple of weeks ago, during the head-to-head Channel 4/Sky battle between David Cameron and Ed Miliband. Whether you thought Jeremy Paxman’s interview tactics were brilliant, or whether you thought his style revealed that he is a “genuinely tortured, angry individual”, as his former colleague Andrew Marr commented, you must admit that the only way was up for Miliband when Paxman began with the question of why Ed was so “gloomy”.

Whether you saw his subsequent questions to Ed as personal attacks or just clever interviewing tactics, it was clear that his “North London geek” slander called into question the professionalism of Paxman, with viewers expressing their shock at the use of the phrase:

But many of those sympathizing with Ed expressed their pride at being North London Geeks, to the extent of wanting to print it on a t-shirt:

We’ve mocked up a couple of Ed’s best phrases from the night, plus a couple of other t-shirts we think might go down well before May 7th below: Are there any more phrases from the party leaders that you think would look good on a t-shirt? Let us know on Twitter @clothes2order or post a comment below.

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Clothes2order Go Karting!

  • Monday, March 23rd, 2015  | 
  • Event

We enjoyed an exhilarating and competitive trip to Daytona Motorsport in Trafford Park, where our eCommerce & Development team took home 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! Go karting go karting 2 go karting 3 Gokaritng 5 Go karting 7 go karting 8 go karting 99 go karting 98 go kartin g97 go karting 55go karting 54go kargting 55


Clothes2order prints t-shirts for Red Nose Day #teamselfie

Check out our #teamselfie below for Comic Relief! We printed some “Changing the Face of Business” t-shirts and uploaded them to Red Nose Day’s Official Team Selfie website along with encouraging staff to donate. Check out our #CEOselfie below too!

Is your business doing anything for Red Nose Day? How are you planning to raise money? Let us know below, or you can Tweet us or Facebook us #ComicReliefBusiness

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How to sell merchandise with Clothes2order: 6 Top Tips

Whether you’ve set up your own store to sell merchandise, clothing designs or uniform through our Merchandise Stores platform already, or you’ve only just given it some thought, we’ve put together our top selling tips to help you get the most out of your store and ultimately successfully sell your designs.

1. Have a good range of products.

The more products you choose to sell, the better. Don’t just choose one t-shirt you like and stick to it – you’re more likely to sell to your fans, members or customers if you have a good range of items. Why not add a t-shirt, a hoodie AND a cap for example?

 Tshirt2

2. Customise your store.

Whether you’re a charity, a group or a school, you’ll want to let your fans and supporters get a real sense of who you are. Pick a strong background image that represents who you are and change the font and link colours to  really show off your brand. Check out Dead Amigos Apparel‘s store: their simple but effective use of black and white adds lots of character to their store. To edit your store’s appearance, click on “Edit Store Details and Visual Design” the under “Your Store” tab.

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3. Upload quality images.

Make sure you give your customer an accurate representation of how your design will look on the garment. It is vital that you upload high resolution images of your designs and logos that you want to sell in order for the print quality to be as high as possible. Our artwork team will pick up on any poor quality artwork when an order is placed, but visually on your store, the better the image of the product, the more likely your customer is to click to buy it.

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4. Sell your products.

It may sound easy, but make sure you include an eye-catching & striking description of your product. We include the tech details of the product, such as composition, weight and brand for you, so all you need to do is include a short, slick description of your product that will make your supporters, fans, members or customers really want to buy.

sales-and-marketing

 

5. Set a realistic selling price.

The higher the price, the more commission you’ll earn from us. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll sell more products. By setting yourself a competitive price, you’re more likely to make more commission or raise funds. Think how much would you expect to pay for a printed or embroidered garment – set yourself a reasonable price that you think accurately represents what your brand is about, and stick to it.  

 

6. Promote your store.

Once you’ve set up your store, actively tell your fans, members and supporters about it. They won’t come and visit your store if they don’t know about it! Tweet about it, Facebook it, email your supporters about it, add a link on your website and launch it through your blog. The quicker you get the word out about your store, the sooner you’ll have visits and the sooner you’ll be selling your merchandise.

Ready?

If you’re ready to set up a store, congratulations! Create it here.

Any questions about setting up a store with us? Feel free to tweet us or visit our Facebook page.

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Clothes2order features on ITV News

If you missed us on ITV’s national news bulletin last Wednesday night, you can catch us here again!

We featured as part of a news segment on the recovering economy, and how this has helped business grow at a phenomenal rate here at Clothes2order.

We thought our Managing Director, Michael Conway and Order Processor Kirsty Stephens did a cracking job!

 

 


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“What I learned from Sir Richard Branson”

Our MD, Michael Conway, was lucky enough to be invited to spend time with the Virgin founder on Necker island. From kitesurfing to a business Q&A session, find out what 5 days with one of the most successful businessmen on earth taught our MD.

Business lessons in world’s most exclusive classroom


The Most Popular Slogan T-Shirts from around the web

The slogan t-shirt remains one of the most popular ways to express personal, social or political statements. Below we’ve rounded up the most talked about slogan t-shirts of 2015 so far…

#Meninist

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The hashtag #Meninist has become extremely popular in recent weeks – despite existing as a profile on Twitter since 2013, according to the BBC. Seeking to represent “the difficulties of being a man in the 21st Century”, we’re thinking it may have been inspired by the below campaign…

This is what a feminist looks like

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The latest slogan shirt trend among celebrities and politicians was the above “This is what a feminist looks like t-shirt”, worn by those keen to stress their feminist credentials.  Unfortunately, the original t-shirt supplier in question was burdened by claims that it was manufactured in a sweat shop.

Kim Sears’ I Shih Tzu Not tee

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This slogan tee worn by Andy Murray’s fiancee proved popular with fashion pundits from around the web.

Miley Cyrus’ I had nothing to wear so I put on this Moschino dress

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Teamed with a slogan bag bearing the popstar’s name, Miley Cyrus makes a bold fashion statement with this Moschino dress.

The Oscars are on their way…

Will there be another recording breaking selfie? What slogan could represent this year’s Oscars?

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Have you got any t-shirt slogan suggestions for this year’s Oscars? Share your comments below or tweet us @Clothes2order