Part of our ongoing series of interviews with Oliver Spencer customers and friends. We met Joe Kinch in Shoreditch for a cup of tea and a chat.
Joe is the director of Joe's Tea Company, which he founded in 2012. We caught up with him in his local neighbourhood of Shoreditch to hear more about his love of tea and his unusual nickname.
Can you tell me about Joe's Tea Company and how it started?
My background is tea: I've been in the tea industry for 9 years. Back then, all the coffee shops in east London were serving great coffee but bad tea. Joe's Tea Company was born out of me wanting good tea to be served, I wanted to make tea cool again. There was either bog standard tea or premium, there was no in between, and I wanted to change that.
How did you get into tea in the first place?
I worked in organic foods in my youth and moved to London from Brighton to work for a small tea company. The industry was quite stagnant for a long time but in the last five years it's started to change. There are so many new brands now and that’s born out of consumers wanting good products.
How do you get dressed in the morning?
I definitely have to dress smarter now. Maybe it's an age thing but it's important that you dress well and feel good. I tend to make sure I have a good pair of shoes on, I find myself wearing nice shoes. Then I throw on a pair of jeans, generally Japanese raw denim, and finally a plain white T-shirt is my uniform.
If I have a meeting to go to I will wear a shirt. I've got loads of Oliver Spencer shirts. I've got quite a long torso but I find that Oliver Spencer clothes are spot on for me. The nice thing about Oliver Spencer shirts is that you can wear them casually but if you want to put a blazer over the top then you can dress them up quite well.
Are the outfits you’ve worn today typical of how your dress?
I think they highlight that you can still dress smart wearing casual wear. You don’t have to wear a three piece suit to be formal. I think it's really important that you feel comfortable in what you wear much more than what you're actually wearing sometimes. If you feel relaxed in what you're wearing you're much more confident in yourself.
How did you come across Oliver Spencer?
I've always lived in Shoreditch, so I've shopped around here for years. When Oliver Spencer popped up, it was natural for me to go in there too. The thing for me was the shirts: they fitted so well, I just kept coming back. I suppose I stumbled across the brand and grew into it as I grew into my work.
Is there anything in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?
My Crockett & Jones boots, they are my pride and joy. I think they are so well made, and so comfortable, and they make you feel good. They're a little investment but they are timeless.
Those, and a white T-shirt, I've always worn white T-shirts. My nickname when I was younger was Persil because I'd always wear a white T-shirt and it always had to be brand new.
Where are your favourite places in London?
My life revolves around family and food, and as a family our thing is going out to eat. Our favourite places are Morito on Exmouth market and The Eagle on Farringdon Road. The Eagle was one of the first gastropubs in London, really relaxed, great food, a nice place to go on the Sunday and read the papers with big windows all the way round. Those are the kind of places I like to hang out.
What made you choose today's location?
I've lived in London for ten years and this area is my home. I walk through these streets every day and it felt natural to do something here. I have drank in most of the pubs and eaten in most of the restaurants. I know a lot of the locals, which is really important to me.