"Town Towels was an idea conceived during the 2020 world of pandemics, recession and Brexit division. We knew that despite all the apparent reasons to be fearful and divisive, there was - and remains - so much beauty, community spirit and reasons to look forward to the future here in the United Kingdom."
Our simple plan was to display some of that beauty on the humble tea towel, by working with British designers whose work we admire.
Tim Pearce, originally from Burton-on-Trent, ran a town guides publishing business for almost two decades beginning at the turn of the 21st century, based in Barry, South Wales. During that period, he spent time exploring beautiful market towns throughout England and Wales, dedicating countless hours to producing bespoke maps, designing advertisements for small local businesses, and researching the history and famous sons and daughters of these locations.
These comprehensive town guides were produced with the blessing of local councils and authorities, and the process of putting them together instilled in Tim a genuine appreciation of places that outsiders perhaps simply passed through or did no more than note on a map.
Years later, after helping his family launch Radical Tea Towel, Tim had the idea of producing tea towels that would depict locations throughout the country. Luke, Tim's elder son, suggested applying for a business grant so that they could start the business together.
Tim and Luke were rejected from the business grant application, so the idea was put on the back burner for some time, but when the global pandemic began in 2020 and countries entered lock-down, Tim and Luke began wondering again whether they could launch Town Towels with only a small amount of initial savings.
Starting a business in a recession, on the face of things, seemed like a risky idea. But with a little more time on their hands, and an enthusiasm to try new things that would help spread some positivity in what otherwise seemed like a hopeless and divisive time, they got going.
After Tim put together some initial designs, and Luke built relations with other British designers, they made their first order with the manufacturers in the Midlands. Town Towels finally launched in September 2020.
Whether you're from Ashford, Alnwick, Cardiff or Carlisle; whether you voted 'leave' or 'remain'; whether you are a town partier or a countryside lover: we hope you find some beauty and inspiration in our collection of designs depicting the towns, cities and countryside of Britain.