Last night we hosted a screening of Thesis 001. This Hold Tight production introduces Theobalds team rider Jake Bidmead and features much of the extended family. Craig Jackson is the man behind this venture and also the London Skate Journal initiative. Craig was working for Slam City Skates when him and a crew of friends acquired their Theobald’s Rd address. This skate house cemented the friendships which have culminated in this new venture and it’s name. We caught up with Craig to find out more about Theobalds…
When did the idea for Theobalds first come about?
Well I had been wanting to make stuff for a while but I always made excuses. I guess the timing was never right. Last Winter I found myself having a lot more time on my hands, I didn’t feel like going out much so I did a lot of hibernating and planning instead. Theo’s was born out of the need to keep busy as well as serve as reminder to whats really important – Friends and skateboarding. Everything else just came naturally. The aim was to create basic premium product that my mates would want to wear as well as someone like my old man when the suns out. We worked solidly for the first half of the year getting everything in place then launched in June just in time for the Summer.
Explain where the name came from for those who don’t know…
Theobalds is the name of a road in High Holborn which we lived on for around 3 years in total until just after the London Olympics finished. It was a pretty pokey and unique 4 bedroom top floor flat in a listed building (Benjamin Disraeli was born there) so there would sometimes be big tours chilling outside when you’d open the front door as well as all the other madness you would expect from living in central London. It was a proper skate house though and 10 minute skate to SB.
Who are the crew affiliated with the company?
Henry does video stuff, Jonny Grant handles production, Dan Graham helps with graphics and I do everything in between but Theobalds Alumni include Yappa, Sam Hughes, Jim Barnes, John Tanner, Faris Hassan as well as everyone else who would come and stay. Oh and the team too..
Any surprise team additions on the cards?
I think we’re happy with the way it is right now. Having Stansfield get involved is great, we love Landscape and the Manchester skate scene so its the perfect fit.
The premiere of Thesis 001 is at the Slam East store. How important do you think skateboard stores still are?
Massively important. One of my favourite things about doing this is that I get to reconnect with old friends as well as make new ones around the country who keep a healthy scene going in their towns and cities. One of our stockists Pyramid in Glasgow is run by two 20 something guys who basically put everything on the line to start the shop which I respect massively. It was great getting to know them and their story. Sometimes you just have to take the risk. Also If it wasn’t for you guys giving me a job way back I wouldn’t of been able to of moved into London too, thanks for that by the way haha.
Did the skill set you learned working at Canoe Inc make beginning the company less daunting?
I’d say so yeah, I was lucky enough to work with some pretty big brands there including Patagonia and PUMA where I did everything from strategy to general PR stuff. Everyone there was super cool and supportive when we were in the planning stages earlier this year and I consider them family. Its important to plan but you don’t want to plan too much as things stop being fun. Its important to have fun.
All of the things you have put in place like Thesis 001 and the first instalment of the London Skate Journal promise others to follow. How regularly are you planning to put out content?
Thesis will be an on going riders series which we want to be as regular as possible but we also want to start doing trips early next year which will be a separate video series in itself. We’re just going to see how it all goes. LSJ issue 2 is coming real soon and we’re hoping that it will be a quarterly (ish) release. We like the thought of collaborating with other brands or stores to help get it to print too. At the end of the day its all in its infancy and we’re all currently juggling this stuff with other projects, girlfriends and full time jobs so we have to make sure that balance is right.
Are you pleased with how the products have come back?
For sure, doing cads and designing stuff is one thing but actually having tangible product in your hand makes it all worth while. Seeing it on peoples heads is another story all together.
Are you looking to expand the styles you produce in the coming drops?
Yes. We want to start doing accessories for next year as well as other hat styles but we sampled a ton of different things that never see the light of day. Jonny who I live with is the production guy and will just spring random samples on me which stokes me out after a long day. He loves it.
I know it’s early days but could you imagine a full length video one day?
Haha i’m not sure about that one? Obviously a full length video is a big one but we’re still figuring this whole thing out. I know Henry is working on something big himself for next year… Maybe we’ll take it back to W.F.T.W days and have a Theos section in amongst his next full length like Octagon did. I miss Octagon wheels. What do you reckon Henry?…
Thanks to Craig for this interview. Keep up to date with more Theobalds projects HERE