Three Brisbane locals are making their mark on streetwear with their relaxed innovative label Chapel & Charles.
Andrew Adermann, Tom Barker and Madeline Thomsen saw a gap in the streetwear market and decided to act.
The young trio form Brisbane launched their label, Chapel & Charles in August last year and now their casual, yet classy t-shirts, jumpers and singlets are starting to appear on street corners all over Brisbane.
Broncos player Corey Parker and Home and Away star, Charlie Cottier are ambassadors for the brand.
We caught up with the Chapel & Charles creators and they shared with us some insights into their business and the journey they have been on so far.
1. Describe Chapel & Charles in one sentence.
ANDREW: Simple, clean and classy streetwear label dedicated to providing the basic necessities for any occasion.
2. What inspired Chapel & Charles?
TOM: Collectively, we were pretty sick of paying anywhere between $50-$80 just for over-crowded, nonsensical brand tee shirts. Andrew, Maddi and I (the three founders) thought that there was still a pretty big gap in the market for simple, high quality shirts at an affordable price and that’s what really drove us when creating Chapel & Charles.
3. How did you decide on a name for your label?
ANDREW: This is probably our most asked question. The ‘Chapel’ comes from the suburb Chapel Hill in which Tom and I grew up and still reside in. The ‘Charles’ comes from the name of Tom’s Golden Labrador Charlie. Together, they formed a very articulate and catchy brand name that just rolls off the tongue. Everyone always seems to get a laugh that it was partly named after a dog.
4. What is the process behind designing the clothing?
TOM: I take care of the designs with input and advice from Maddi and Andrew. There was a stage there where I was putting forward 10-20 designs a week for months on end leading up to our launch just trying to decide what should be printed. In total, in excess of 100 designs have been put forward with only 15 or so making the final cut. We’ve drawn inspiration from all over the place really – there’s some Tom Morello, Billy Joel and Mumford & Sons references, a Tom Hardy tribute, even a biblical reference – all overlayed with a general hunting lifestyle theme which we have tried to keep consistent across the brand.
5. Where do you source the clothing from?
MADDI: We get the shirts from a wholesaler in Sydney. We have had endless positive feedback about the quality in material of the shirts so that has been great to hear. From there, they are sent down to PSI Screen Printing at Currumbin on the Gold Coast who take care of the printing and tagging for us.
6. How did you get the word out about Chapel & Charles?
MADDI: As is with a lot of up-and-coming businesses these days, social media is probably our best source of advertising. We are pretty active daily over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. On top of that, we have been getting the clothing on to a few well-known celebrities in the sports, music and entertainment industries to reach out to a wider audience. So far guys like Corey Parker from the Broncos and Charles Cottier off Home & Away have done us wonders and we have a few more massive names in the works as well.
7. How are people responding to the product?
ANDREW: There were definitely a few sleepless nights leading up to the launch in August where we were apprehensive about what the response would be but it was been amazing up to this point. Our friends, family and those we have never met have been so supportive beyond what we could imagine. We go out to places and people stop us to comment on the shirt and how they see the brand name everywhere, and that is really flattering and positive for us. Our main aim from here is to keep that going.
8. How is running a business with your friends?
TOM: John Rockerfeller once said “a friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship” but honestly, we don’t believe that at all. We are able to keep our friendships and business separate to the point where Chapel & Charles may not even be mentioned for hours on end. At the same time, when it comes down to it, the fact that Andrew, Maddi and I are so close means that we are not afraid to speak our minds if something needs to be done or altered. Having your mates there to sound ideas off helps us all immensely even when making the most simple of decisions like an Instagram caption.
9. What are your feelings about starting a fashion label in Brisbane?
MADDI: As we said earlier, we felt that there was a bit of a gap in the market in Brisbane, and nationwide, for what we are trying to do. We had a look at a lot of the local labels before we launched and did a lot of research into their strengths and weaknesses and thought that there was a lot there that could be done better that we have tried to push through in our product. If we were trying to do the same thing in Melbourne or Sydney it may be a whole different story, but here in Brisbane for the product we are providing to our target market, we feel that we are pretty well placed.
10.What does the future hold for Chapel & Charles?
ANDREW: We are pretty excited about the future. As Maddi said earlier, we are working on a few more big names to get on board as brand ambassadors to reach out to a more international demographic. We’ve had contact with a few local stores as well in regards to getting our clothing stocked. Ultimately, we would love to get our clothing stocked in some of the national streetwear chains. We’ll start working on our Winter collection soon too, which we will aim to release around the start of June.
Have you spotted Chapel & Charles around Brisbane?
Check out the Chape & Charles range at www.chapelandcharles.com