As we inch closer to Father’s Day, we took the opportunity to talk to Dad-of-two and Larry David tragic, Huw Bennett. From his days back in the Vanishing Elephant team, to collaborating on the Incu Gift Shop in 2019, Huw’s always been a part of the Incu family. These days Huw owns and runs a workwear business aptly named Worktones. You know all those fancy aprons you see in your favourite restaurants? More likely than not it’s from Worktones.
Sit back, relax, check out Huw’s Father’s Day wishlist and read our chat where we cover everything from fatherhood to Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Hi Huw, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us! What’s new in your world? I see you’ve just launched a fun collaboration with Lauren Martin.
Hey thanks for having me. Yeah, the Lauren Martin colab is very fun and also quite timely given lockdowns, winter, general gloom, etc. It’s definitely a highlight in my world right now, all things considered we’re doing okay and still have a lot of work and also a lot of sunshine in Sydney which helps.
The mug is fantastic. I’m guessing you’re a big Curb fan?
Ha. Yes, big fan and possible Larry David tragic. I think the saying took off in the office in reference to some interesting enquiries we received about custom production. So it seemed right to add it to our new mug.
It’s a beautiful emotional rollercoaster where there are no rules or controls. I learn a lot and am constantly amazed at what the kids say, do and react to the world around us.
Before you founded Worktones, you ran Vanishing Elephant (legacy Incu customers will remember this fan favourite) with some mates – how did this experience shape your next venture?
Oh boy. We learnt a lot and probably took it all too serious at times and then not serious enough when needed. VE was a beautiful thing and it took a lot to leave, Worktones grew out time away from work and me trying to find something that still allowed me to use the skills I’d learnt with VE but apply them in a slightly different way. During the early days of Worktones I often asked both of those mates I ran VE with a lot of questions and still occasionally do. Thanks guys.
How are things over at Worktones, and for anyone unfamiliar what’s it all about?
All things considered we’re doing well. We continue to work with and build alongside so many of Australia’s established Hospitality leaders and also all the new ventures either moving on or up, or launching their passion project to the world. We work with so many wonderful people both internally and externally. What we do is make workwear, it’s not about reinventing the wheel, just making something different. Mostly aprons, but also garments and branded items like Caps, Bags, and Tea Towels. It’s a business that fills me with endless joy and I can’t wait to get back into the office and do it all face to face.
Father’s Day might look a little different this year (locked down and all)... how will you spend the day?
Hopefully the sun’s shining, and we can get outside. My girls (2x daughters) and wife are pretty good at spoiling me. I’m not a big sleep in guy but crave solo time, so perhaps a walk or swim then some time with the family that involves eating baked goods and hot coffee.
What does being a father mean to you?
Oh gawd. It’s a beautiful emotional rollercoaster where there are no rules or controls. I learn a lot and am constantly amazed at what the kids say, do and react to the world around us. Poor buggers right now are struggling with homeschool lockdown life, seeing that makes me more resolute to make each day an enjoyable experience.
How do you manage your family time with running a business?
We’re pretty good at creating schedules and having shared responsibilities in our house. I'm lucky that I’ve always been able to be hands on with the kids, that’s in part to having my own business. I try to always remain flexible to do activities with the kids, I especially enjoy anything swimming or beach related.
What’s keeping you busy throughout lockdown? What are you reading/watching/playing/making/building?
Thankfully I finished a book about walking through Europe that details all the sights and riches of the countries between The Netherlands and Greece ~ doesn’t make me want to travel at all. Lockdown has helped my surfing game, and I also have early onset RSI from trawling for new TV shows. I serviced my daughter's bike and partially fixed a surfboard, so that’s something.