On this week's Community Spotlight we sat down with Mike who is the founder of @Tidy_tiedye.
Q: Thanks for joining us today! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you?
A: Hi, I'm Mike, aka @Tidy_tiedye, full-time emergency ambulance dispatcher, part time sock tie-dying aficionado. I've been into sneakers on and off for 10 years and more obsessively over the last 3-4 years.
Q: What is it that introduced you to the world of sneakers, and what made you start collecting?
A: Initial interest was the brightness and style of basketball trainers. Having a loose interest in the sport and being a regular gym goer meant they were a nicer, brighter alternative to the majority of training shoes.
Q: What types of shoes do you tend to collect?
A: I still pick up the occasional 'performance' pair BUT nowadays much more about 'lifestyle' pairs. Guided partially by the hype tend to currently go for Jordans and Nike SB dunks. Jordan preference is still the J1 although 'the hype' seems to have moved away from them a bit. Also, a fan of a J5 but the inflated retail price tag makes me think twice before purchasing those.
Q: What is the most important factor when deciding whether to purchase a sneaker? For example is it looks, materials, exclusivity, comfort, collaborations?
A: Sadly, I'm still very influenced by 'the hype' of the time and a sucker for the marketing from Nike/Jordan as well as the retailers. The exclusivity is also a factor...if it's easier to get, it would likely mean buying even more pairs and that would be dangerous. One important factor which stays true with a lot of purchases is brightness / colour, with something that I guess stands out to the average Joe not just to fellow sneakerheads.
Q: What's your top 3 sneaker brands in order?
A: Jordan, Nike is there another?
Q: What's your top 3 silhouettes across all brands?
A: Jordan 1, Nike SB Dunk, Jordan 5
Q: Let's dig a little deeper in to your collection, what's the oldest and newest pair in your collection?
A: The oldest is the Nike Sweet Classic Low Canvas - Livestrong. 2010. The newest pair are the Nike SB Air Jordan 4 Pine Green 2023.
Q: What's your favourite shoe that you own and why?
A: The Nike SB Dunk Grateful Dead, Yellow - Just a crazy pair, love the brightness and the materials, and as mentioned above they're just head-turners to everyone, not just to those in the sneaker world.
Q: What's the rarest shoe in your collection?
A: The Jordan 5 X Off White X @lorenz.og - The first OW J5 that he did as an experiment, maybe the first off white he dyed? Went on to do some more for Lil Yachty and a small wider release.
Q: What pair holds the most sentimental value to you and why?
A: The Nike Kyrie 'by you' - 'proposal' - Made and bought these to celebrate our engagement. White and gold as a nod to wedding dressed and rings, blue highlights to match the sapphire in the engagement ring and the now wife's eyes.
Q: What shoe is your all-time grail?
A: The Nike Air Mag - BTTF is one of my favourite movies of all-time and the sneaker connection makes them top of the grail list. Closest I've got to these is owning the Nike SB Dunk 'Marty's' and Nike Adapt BB 2.0 which have auto lacing.
Q: What pair is next on your list?
A: In no particular order I'd have to say...Spider verse J1 - Black Pigeon Nike SB - Supreme Camo J5 - AM1 Masters - Gibson Nike SB. If anyone is selling a UK9.5 or UK10 then HOLLA!
Q: Regardless of hype and exclusivity, what is your favouirte shoe both in your collection, and not in your collection, based purely on aesthetics?
A: Nike SB 'What the Paul' I have - they're just mad, the story behind them, the materials, the colours etc. Nike SB 'What the Dunk' I wish I had - same as above but multiplied by a thousand! Another pair on the unobtainable grail list!
Q: Moving on to Tidy Tie-Dye: Give us the lowdown on the brand?
A: Tie-dying anything that stays still long enough and has a high enough cotton content! Focusing mainly on Nike socks with the idea of creating colours to match any and all Nike/Jordan release.
Q: How did you come to start Tidy Tie-Dye, and what made you want to start the business?
A: Tidy_tiedye was a Covid upstart. I had ordered myself a pair from a rival brand and paid a lot more than what we charge. BUT in doing so I realised how we could recreate the effect at a lesser cost. A lil crafty afternoon was planned and I made myself half a dozen pairs. Having done so and Covid keeping us at home, I decided to start an Insta page and made a couple of batches to sell on eBay. Several thousands pairs and 3.5 years later here we are.
Q: Name the two best things about running a Tie-Dye company?
A: Doing it from home, spending time with each other and the dogs instead of going in to real work for overtime. Meeting people from the community, at events and collection days. Being involved with these has been a big factor of continuing the business post covid restrictions.
Q: Name the two worst things about running a Tie-Dye company?
A: Some of the odd questions/problems people come at me with on eBay...examples: Why have the socks been washed? That's so you don't end up with dyed feet?!
Why is one of the ticks backwards? Firstly, it's a 'Swoosh'. Secondly, it's not backwards, that's how all the socks and most of the shoes come (Travis makes it a tad confusing).
I actually send that person a photo of a pair of shoes to show how one its 'forwards' and one side 'backwards'.
Another person asked why hey have been sent 2 left socks? The cushioned cotton crew socks we used don't have a left and a right so not sure how they were wearing them?!
(FYI I obviously explained this much more professionally in real life.)
Q: What's been your favouirte piece of work, and what's been your biggest seller so far?
A: Favourite piece/pieces would be the hoodies. Tying and then covering with ice before adding the dye created some amazing patterns which people were always very happy with.
Biggest seller...kinda annoyingly...solid beige socks! From getting started making the brightest colours in the random patches provided by tie-dye process, to just dying socks light brown. But it goes with the styles and the aged aesthetic which is currently on trend so I shouldn't complain, plus they're much quicker and easier to create.
Q: Please let us know where we can find you on socials?
eBay store - Tidy Tiedye on eBay
See me at Crepecity Boxpark Wembley, 20/05/23 helping at the SneakSpply table
See me at Crep Car Boot Bristol, SnekerFest 10/6/23