Hag. Frump. Biddy. For Suzi Warren, these terms are badges of honor for smart, elegant and strong women who are secure in their own skin. They decorate t-shirts, scarves, market bags and more inside the cottage enterprise, Twisted Twee, located in North London.
Quintessentially British along the lines of Monty Python with a hint of Tracy Ullman, Suzi built her business around irreverence and campy humor. Suzi and her team, Suzanne, Emma, Kim, Tanya and partner Georg, run this wonderfully zany business that is semi-famous. Why? Among other celeb and political notables counted as clients or fans, none other than former President Barack Obama wore his political pants to the second Inauguration (a gift to him from Katy Perry).
Lucky Pants are a hilarious line of men’s and women’s underwear, which you can personalize however you want. Suzi proudly points to famed jockey Davy Russell, who wore his lucky pants during two consecutive Grand Nationals. The female versions can give any woman a shot of courage to do what’s in her heart–like this.
The company was launched in 2003 when Suzi, a new parent, was perplexed by the offerings in stores for her, her partner Georg and their little one. “It was all doe-eyed puppies and prancing foals,” she says. “So I decided to make clothing that reflected more honestly the befuddling, bonkers and unglamorous world of child rearing.” One example, a t-shirt set with an acorn on the baby shirt and an oak tree on the dad’s shirt, was recently snapped up by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Suzi realized that running the business inside her home was limiting. The small house didn’t even have the proverbial “kitchen table” so Suzi had to box up her things every day and bring them out again the next. “Twisted Twee–and the part of my brain that creates for it–needs its permanent place in the world, however small,” she says. The business grew quickly and soon it became time to bust out of the home.
“We built a shed that we thought would be our escape room where we could dance to old 45 records and have poker nights while our daughter slept in the house,” Suzi recalls. “But quickly it became the headquarters for Twisted Twee.”
Inside the Shed
Suzi and her partner Georg built the shed new and gave it a welcoming front porch. Because they are well within the city limits in North London, the couple kept a lot of the interior in its natural wood state,”so I could feel and smell like I was in the middle of a Canadian forest,” Suzi says. Then, soft and comfortable seating was in order, as well as tapestries and vintage finds for decoration.
Not much is brand new and nothing is expensive in the shed. Suzi’s biggest score was her German heat press, which enabled her to get her clothing lines launched and ended up being scot-free due to an invoicing snafu. Other than that she treasures a blue woollen horse that hangs in the shed, which she decided to purchase instead of a new radiator. “I just knew I’d get more pleasure from it,” she notes. Suzi also treasures a framed print of a 1950s sewing pattern, made by a good friend.
To start the day right, Suzi always gets her to-go cup of coffee next door, then walks across her tiny garden into her Twisted Twee shedquarters. In the midst of a bustling city neighborhood, Suzi and her team stay happy and busy making the world a more amusing place, one pair of Lucky Pants at a time.