This Is Sheffield was not only set up to support Sheffield’s independent businesses, we aim to support the people behind them too. You won’t find them catching rays in Dubai or with their feet up in a swanky pad. They are probably on the shop floor, behind a bar or making something with their own hands.
To celebrate reaching 10,000 followers on Instagram (not bad for 10 months) we wanted to introduce you to the people behind This Is Sheffield, who you definitely won’t find on a fancy resort or in a luxe home. We’re usually at our desks, one of our fave cafes or mostly in a pub (when we’re allowed to).
Matt Pinder – Co-Founder
Matt has always been about the DIY life and a champion of indies, he’s been using social media to make things happen from the early days, he also uses it to throw in some LOLzzz on occasion.
Back in his early teens he started Pinderstock (always been low-key narcissistic), a series of gigs at Dronfield Town Hall. Over the 2 years promoting these gigs tactics went from flyers and posters to MySpace and online forums.
Matt bloody loved MySpace and started blogging before blogging was a thing. Chatting shit about bands nobody else cared about (at the time, usually going on to be big) and nights in different cities watching bands, getting in a mess and missing the last train home.
The MySpace obsession continued into uni where he ‘studied’ Music Management at London Met, a pretty useless degree when graduating in ’09, the country was in recession and the music industry was dying due to illegal downloads (if you didn’t break at least 5 computers from downloading dodgy files from Kazaa or Limewire you didn’t live).
Instead of trying to juggle several bar jobs to survive in London he moved down to Brighton after graduating with no money, job or mates. Started a new music blog, freelanced for some online sites (interviewed some faves and covered gigs/festivals) and managed social media accounts for a music PR agency, before taking a left turn and spent a year in the third sector, supporting ex-addicts and offenders to move into a stable life. A weird time in his own life, where he was homeless for a couple of months.
After Brighton Matt yo-yo’d between S18 (Dronfield) and London, a stint at a music venue in the Big Smoke doing online promo as well as gig reviews for websites but it was an internship at Exposed that had quite the impact, more specifically, the Christmas party. His first visit to Kelham Island since ’96, the dream to live there was set.
The freelancing was doing ok, he managed to wing it a few things, somehow wangling a photo pass for Austin City Limits festival snapping some big names, despite it being the first time he ever used a proper camera, he had to buy and figure out how to use it on the job…
A couple of years later, whilst doing marketing for a software company he looked at one flat, that he didn’t really like but he bought it without bothering with a second viewing, he just wanted to live in Kelham. The music blogging (that was also on the banty side) had died away whilst marketing property management software, he missed it, so did others. Whilst convincing pals to leave London for Sheffield he took them on a tour round Kelham, mostly a building site at this stage, they questioned why he wasn’t blogging about it, he didn’t have an answer. Nobody else was, like when he was blogging about bands nobody else had discovered at the time, so he started This Is Kelham, he’s always been 6 months ahead of the game.
The very early start of This Is Kelham was a blog but he couldn’t bothered to type after work so it became an Instagram account where he posted shitty camera phone photos, it gained momentum pretty quickly. From there it grew, a team was formed, together they organically built a brand and a following across the city.
5 years on from moving to Kelham, he still lives in the same flat despite his wardrobe outgrowing it, still fascinated every time he walks past Little Kelham as it grows, still wears a cap, hoodie & uncomfortably tight jeans, loves a meme, rates things and still does stuff for the LOLzzz, he wrote this in third person.
I write about stuff I care about.
If you got this far, well done, here’s another Insta account to follow.