Q&A with Benjamin Woodhouse aka @clobbercalm
To most denimheads on Instagram, Clobber Calm needs no introduction.
Started in 2015 as an Instagram account, the company now comprises a blog, a podcast, an online store and a brick-and-mortar store in Sheffield, England.
I met the man behind it all for the first time at Kingpins in Amsterdam back in April. And I got our meeting on camera! If you haven’t watched that interview yet, here’s a teaser:
(There’s a link to the entire interview at the bottom of this post.)
What’s your story?
Name: Benjamin Woodhouse
Birth year: 1983
Location: South Yorkshire, UK
Profession: Director and (I suppose) founder at Clobber Calm Supply Co.
Family dude with three kids and a missus (Charlie). I spend most of the time working on my denim store and website. Being a start-up, it takes a lot of hours!
Otherwise, I spend time with my family and friends. I’m all about people, so spend as much time with close ones as possible outside of work.
How to Be Like Ben on Instagram
Thomas: How did it all start with your Instagram feed?
Ben: Ah, the best way for me to explain this is to advise you to watch this little video we made regards the Supply Co.:
T: Why Instagram? What are your goals?
B: Started as pleasure but as I begun to understand the ability to connect and the community I found myself in, I started to take it a little more seriously and begun different projects and started to try out new ideas.
These days, it’s a vital part of the Clobber Calm, but only in a fun capacity. I still prefer to use it so I can see what the dudes on there are up to and document what I’m up to.
T: How much time do you spend on Instagram on a daily basis?
B: These days, not as much as I would like. It’s a great outlet for inspiration but I find myself busy these days so much that I probably only get a chance for 10-15 minutes per day. Some of my good buddies on there I chat with via text and Whatsapp though so, it’s all good!
T: How do you take your photos?
B: On an iPhone 8 and usually alone. Sometimes, a staff member will snap a pic on their phones that I cheekily pinch.
Which tools do you use?
T: What’s your editorial flow? (How do you come up with new ideas, and what’s your planning like?)
B: This is one thing I do try to keep on top of these days. I usually plan all CCSC activities a couple months in advance so everybody is clear on what we are up to at any one time.
We have the store, emails, brand focuses, podcasts, blogs, events just to name a few. Everything has to run in line, otherwise, it would be chaos so the planning important.
At the same time, I also ensure it’s adaptable and can be manipulated around weather/stock drops that may happen unexpectedly.
T: Do you make it a priority to post on a regular schedule? And how do you remind yourself of it?
B: The above planning helps me send out a direct message if I need to let the folks know something otherwise I just organically look for things to post.
It’s part of my routine. I have only missed one day in three years, and it’s never a chore for me. It’s just what I do.
T: What are your favourite locations to take photos?
B: Anywhere. I don’t worry about location. I usually like the product to look good and I think a classic garment can look good in any location if photo’d by even a half decent camera.
T: Do you repost?
B: I used to right back at the start whilst I was gathering inspiration for what was to come. These days, not really. I would though if I wanted to or saw something I wanted to share. No big deal.
Ben’s Denim and Style
T: What is your favourite feature on jeans?
B: My favourite feature is the selvedge.
T: How do you wash your denim?
B: 20 degrees, no spin, hang dry.
T: What’s your favourite fit? And what’s your least favourite fit?
B: Favourite: Slim straight
Least favourite: Probably some heritage super wide leg. I think it looks great on others but I just CANNOT pull it off!
T: Which boots and leather goods do you wear with your denim?
B: It’s always been Red Wing moctoes in various styles. I love that boot. It’s perfect for me.
Recently, I have also been panning in my collaboration Monkey boots with the guys from Tricker’s. They are the oldest shoemakers in the UK, and everything is still made in Northampton, England.
So, at the minute, I’m loving the Clobber Calm Reverse Kudu Monkey boot of course as the quality is unbelievable. But this is also reflected in the price point.
T: Which sneakers do you wear?
B: None really. I have Vans and Converse, but I’m no advocate. I’m yet to find a sneaker I love. I don’t like shoes either. I go from boots to flip flops.
T: Favourite item that’s not denim or leather?
B: Waxed canvas Rogue Territory supply jacket. Fucking love well-made canvas products!
T: Where do you buy your gear?
T: What styling tips would you give your followers if they wanted your style?
B: Drop me an email. I’m always here to help, brothers! Much easier 1-to-1.
… Stay Tuned for More Blue Bloods!
Oh, and here’s that link I promised you to the full-length interview video I shot of Ben at Kingpins.
Next blue blood to sit in the hot chair is Carter DeVries aka @vinyl66.