Matthew Pike has a keen eye for design and spends his time on the hunt for the good stuff. Founder of Buckets and Spades blog, Mat guides us to the best of design and casual menswear, with his soft spot for accessories clearly evident throughout. He has grown an incredibly loyal following on the blog as well as his social media, with over 400K on Pinterest alone.
Simply put: if you’re the kind of guy who picks the beer with a well-designed label on it, you’re more than likely to enjoy his other recommendations too.
We caught up with Mat to find out a little bit more…
CC : We’re intrigued by the name Buckets and Spades: what’s the story?
MP : It’s a simple one. I wanted a name that referenced to where I grew up, which was by the seaside. A bucket and spade is the classic seaside staple. The “S” on the end of each word was a mistake when I wrote it down, but I just went with it.
CC : Since starting your blog in 2008, what’s the most exciting project you’ve taken on?
MP : The most enjoyable projects are the city guides we have produced. We’ve covered Liverpool, Leeds, Nottingham, Brighton, Edinburgh and Manchester – next on the list is Glasgow. We always take an independent angle, making time to meet up with local makers, shopkeepers, brewers and everyone in between. The most fun was probably the guide to Liverpool, man, they know how to have a good time!
CC : Keeping your posts up to date must take a lot of thought and planning. What do you do when you’re taking time out?
MP : I honestly don’t take much time off but I try to visit the gym or go for a cycle once a day. If I’m taking a full day off you’ll find me down the local beer shop, out for coffee with my partner Hollie or watching Impractical Jokers on Comedy Central.
CC : You obviously travel quite frequently. Is there anywhere particularly inspiring that you have visited recently and would recommend?
MP : I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some really cool places. But the coolest place I’ve visited was the Isle of Jura with Scottish label, Trakke. Jura is a tiny isle off the West Coast of Scotland, which only 200 call their home. A stunning place which is mainly untouched.
CC : On your travels, you must have many pit stops. Where is the best place for a coffee or quick bite to eat?
MP : My favourite coffee shops are Takk in Manchester, Cow+Co in Liverpool, Tall Boys in Leeds and Sharps Barbers in Fitzrovia, London. If it’s food then one of my favourite brunch joints is Federal in Manchester.
CC : Name one thing that’s on your Bucket List.
MP : A trip to Machu Picchu in Chile.
CC : You’ve got £100. Which shop are you going to spend it in?
MP : I’d probably go to a store than I can pick up a pair of trainers and some other small bits, like stationery or kitchenware. Goodhood in East London would be a decent pick. Or Utility in Liverpool, as they stock a wide selection of design gifts. I’d say £5 for coffee too, there’s always enough left for coffee.
CC : What is your most admired piece of simple timeless design?
MP : I think this is why I love menswear so much. Because even though there are new trends every few months, classic items never really date. It’s hard to beat a classic white oxford shirt. Away from clothing it would be something a little more craft led, for instance Japanese kitchenware or even something as low-priced as a Bic biro.
CC : How do you manage to curate so much content considering you have to communicate on multiple online platforms?
MP : When you’ve made it your job to do these things you have to stick to it. If there isn’t time, or I’m genuinely busy then I don’t beat myself up for missing something.
CC : Interestingly, of all the platforms you use, your Pinterest has the biggest following. What’s the secret to attracting so many people and keeping them engaged?
MP : I know! It’s pretty mad to be honest, I have more followers on Pinterest than the number of people that live in the town where I grew up – which is crazy! It’s a good question and I’m not sure if I really have the answer. But passion and integrity do go along way, and people notice that.
CC : Finally, who are your top 3 ‘Ones to Watch’ on Instagram?
Photography : Jake Millers
Mat is wearing : Simple Coin Pouch by Campbell Cole, white oxford shirt by Several, chinos by Dockers, sneakers by Common Projects, socks by Form&Thread, watch by Timex, sunglasses by Ace+Tate
instagram | @mat_buckets
pinterest | @mat_buckets
twitter | @mat_buckets