How boyhood friendship turned to business success for Horsham pals

A chat over a pint in a local pub has led to two Horsham pals launching a booming new small business.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 11:57 am

Tristan Young and Peter Bailey - friends since their schooldays at Tanbridge House - create and sell handcrafted woolly hats and leather goods from their homes.

And it’s going so well they now have world-wide customers including in Sweden, Canada, Australia and America, as well as the UK.

Many of their orders come via the e-commerce site Etsy which focuses on craftworks, as well as their own website baileysbespoke.co.uk

Tristan Young and Peter Bailey

“It all started over a pint really,” said Tristan. “Peter had been through some stressful times and started making woolly hats as a way of relaxing.

“He gifted one to me and my girlfriend. I thought they were too good to give away.”

The business idea was born and Tristan and Peter, both 30, got their heads together. “I got into it by accident,” said Tristan.

“The hats have leather labels on them. I ordered about 75 square feet of leather and when it arrived realised I had over-ordered by a massive amount.

Tristan in his workshop

“I started making key rings with the leather. I found it very relaxing.”

Since then Tristan, who has turned his gran’s garage in Southwater into a craft workshop, has perfected new skills in leatherwork and now produces a range of quality crafted leather products from belts to wallets.

Meanwhile, Peter, who moved to the Scottish borders at the start of the pandemic, produces his woolly hats from his workshop there.

Their business - BaileysBespoke - prides itself on producing ‘handcrafted goods for the modest adventurer.’

BaileysBespoke hats

“Our rule is we don’t sell anything unless either one of us has crafted it.

“Whether that’s Peter knitting woolly hats in Innerleithen, Scotland, or myself based in Horsham crafting our leather goods,” says Tristan.

Some of the handcrafted leather goods