Well, where do we start...The beginning I guess?...
The man, the myth and the undisputed jogging bottom legend! I met Casper a handful of times, very briefly, In very random places...Offspring Selfridges for a win on collection day, walking down Carnaby Street while shopping in the middle of the week & at a couple sneaker related events.
I first noticed Casper in Selfridges, not only because of his crazy grills, wavy hair and funky sunglasses but because his jogging bottoms were louder than mine!... to the point where I wasn’t sure if even I could pull them off but he did so with ease! As cool as his appearance was his character, I don’t often go out of my way to speak to people but Casper was different, his energy was genuine and pure, we spoke about his joggers, trainers and the like before exchanging Instagram's and going about our way but from that first interaction I felt there definitely aren’t many people like him around!
Weeks passed and every so often I would receive a DM from Casper showing me his new wild, rare find, joggers. Then one day he announced he was going to be a dad and I could only imagine how his life was just about to begin!
A couple of months went by and I hadn’t spoken to Casper in a while, he’s engaged now with a baby on the way! He has his own life to live but I always knew Casper would support this company as he has a great passion for joggers like I. Many times he offered a jogging bottom battle through Instagram to let the people crown one of us king of the joggers but many times I declined being too busy but also knowing I may actually lose that one!
So what does Casper have to do with Pairs? Well knowing what you do now in regards to the battle to find the best joggers, neither Casper or I found it easy to find a patterned, perfect fit, high quality pair of jogging bottoms, I often turned to thrifts to upcycle but that came with its draw backs, then I started to make my own, I showed Casper a couple of pairs i made and he liked them so much he wanted to buy a pair!
From there a light bulb went off and I decided to come up with the perfect shape of joggers, one where my massive iPhone 11PROMAX was secure deep inside my pockets while the fit went with all of my trainers!
I was bored at work with joggers on my mind so I decide to make a Instagram profile for this new potential venture I was going to make, I made it and wasn’t going to tell anyone about the page just yet, i it was just starting up it all up, I had no materials, no labels, No packaging, no website... not even a factory to produce nor a finalised sample of the shape I wanted the joggers, so the people I told about @PairsUK were very few people, literally 3 people, 3 people who I know would support this “little” venture, one of those people was Casper.
Casper was so supporting, despite whatever he had going on in his life always had time for those around him and he never let his own issues effect how he treated people. We spoke about brainstorming and possibly working together in the future... I wish that was the case Casper!
From this brief conversation Casper then posted a shout-out to @PairsUK on the @TheRealSoleFamily’s Instagram story to promote and get people following, well, it worked and the word was spreading and people were following, I noticed the shout out at 7am by then was 20/30 followers later. I then decided the word was out and I’ll make it known on my page, posting to my story too... people then started to ask “when!?, When were they coming?!, How long Mike?!" I gave myself 4 weeks and said Dec 19’.
That same day Casper took his own life and you can see from the conversation we had that morning that he showed nothing was up, nothing seemed to be wrong. Casper was a strong guy but I wish that he said something... it goes to show everyone has going on which you may not realise, I can’t begin to imagine what he was going through but my condolences go out to him and his family, I found out a couple of days after through a post on Instagram of his passing and it understandably shocked me.
It really goes to show that life is so precious, taken for granted and short. The support I received from Casper gave me the push that I needed, unknowingly pushing me to create a unrealistic deadline and strive to meet it which is the only reason we are here today.
On Dec 1st 2019 The website went live with 2 patterned pairs (Red Q & Black Vine) and 1 plain pair (Black Duchess) in the 4 weeks leading up to that date, with the help of others, I managed to sample 6 patterned, 2 plain pairs and produce all the pairs we have on sale today.
For the push I needed to start this business I want to thank you Casper with a pair made in your honour and gifted to your partner.
Thank you Casper, May you rest in peace.