Meet Hannah and Ryan Thompson, partners in life and business. They are co-founders of Burger Boys Apparel, a tattoo and alternative art-inspired clothing brand based in Thanet, Kent, with a focus on local and independent artists.
We had a quick chat with Hannah and Ryan to learn a little more about the brand.
So, what is Burger Boys?
Burger Boys originally started off as a promotion company. I (Ryan) have been putting on shows in Kent for over 10 years, out of many venues, with Hannah assisting for the last five. Following a discussion we had a few years ago, we decided to take it towards the clothing brand route this year.
What inspired you to start Burger Boys Apparel?
Ryan: The desire to see more of our friends/favourite artists' art on clothing. We just want to make clothes that we would like to wear.
Hannah: Both of us try to support the people we know, the bands that have come through Kent, and our friends by buying merchandise as often as we can. I was very adamant that I want the brand to be ethical, with recyclable packaging, small runs of items, and so on.
This is something I've always had an interest in pursuing. I have a creative side but never had the confidence to build on any ideas, previously. Although we are using independent and local artists for designs initially, I've managed to have some input in places which has been fun.
What has been the biggest challenge, starting up your own clothing brand?
Ryan: I think not having the following or the big name behind you makes it more difficult. We are lucky that a lot of the first designs have been done by friends, and these will help us to build the brand for the future.
Hannah: It can be very easy to be critical when starting a new venture, I think that is one reason it has taken some time from the initial conversation. I am particularly guilty of this and Ryan is luckily the complete opposite!
Can you tell us about your first design - the Elsewhere t-shirt - and why you launched with that tee?
Ryan: Elsewhere is a very important place to us. I have been putting on shows there for a long time, and we even had our wedding reception there. It was having a hard time, as a lot of venues have been, so they ran a fundraiser to try and help with the costs of being open. We sold a shirt to help the cause. The venue hit its target in the end, so it will hopefully be around for years to come.
Hannah: The Elsewhere fundraiser pushed us to begin a little sooner than I anticipated. We actually release a shirt in 2020 to help raise funds for Elsewhere during the first lockdown - this shirt was a different take on the previous, but we wanted to do our part with limited time to raise funds.
What are your hopes for Burger Boys' future?
Ryan: We hope to get involved with shows/conventions and get our name out as much as possible, and hopefully link up with many more great artists.
Hannah: To be able to do this full time, know that people support and enjoy the products we are releasing and to see them on people would be amazing. The progression we have seen and things have learnt already spur us on.
Finish these sentences:
a) When we're not running Burger Boys, you can find us... usually at a show somewhere. We are often around Kent/London shows and enjoy many of the smaller festivals around the UK.
b) We can't get through the day without... (Ryan) music. I am constantly listening whilst at work. (Hannah) Writing lists! I have masses of notes on my phone, desk, multiple notebooks...
c) Our favourite tattoo artists include... Elliott Wells - he was our best man at our wedding and an all-round great tattooist based in The Keep, Edinburgh. Finn Guthrie, based in Made You Look, Maidstone. Scott Banks, based in Sacred Tradition, Margate. Mors, based in The Foundry, Leeds.
d) Our go-to albums to listen to whilst working are... (Ryan) Arms Length - Never Before Seen, Never Again Found. Holding Absense - Greatest Mistakes of My Life.
Man Overboard - Real Talk.
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang.
(Hannah) Ryan and I mostly have the same music taste so I'll add: Anxious - Little Green House
This Wild Life - Clouded
You'll also catch me listening to musicals and the old emo playlist we made for our wedding!