What I love most about Ruff and Huddle is two things. One- they print great graphics on their carefully tailored kids garms. Two, they really network. At the Selfridges launch of Ruff and Huddle, who was there to entertain but the one and only Charlie Dark. I know Charlie from my running affairs, as the man who created London’s notorious Run Dem Crew. Charlie is also a DJ, a poet, a teacher, the perfect fit for Ruff and Huddle with his witty Superhero rhymes and fun and happy vibes. They often collaborate with their friend the photographer Jenny Lewis who is renowned for her eloquent portraits, they cast kids of their friends, they hustle, they don’t procrastinate. This is most admirable and most inspiring as Ruff and Huddle are a man and wife team who have two little sons. Enough said. ‘ I am very glad we got to catch up with Lucy Brice, the woman who means business.
Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do.
A: I’m Lucy Brice, Creative Director of Ruff and Huddle – a kids brand from London.’ www.ruffandhuddle.co.uk
Q:‘ Why a kids label?
A:‘ My partner and I have 2 boys. James was working doing wholesale sales on mens collections and we figured we should make our own kids label and sell it ourselves.
Q:‘ How big is your team?
A:’ At the moment it’s just James, the boys and I – with loads of favours from friends.
Q:‘ What would be your top advice about production. How to find the right people from sourcing cottons, sewing, designing, printing?
A:‘ We wouldn’t have started Ruff and Huddle if we didn’t have experience and contacts within the business. We were super lucky to have a friend with factories in China to start out, make small MOQ’s and assign a product developer to us.
We hear loads of nightmare stories about production but this was really simple for us. With regard to design and fabric we just went after exactly what we wanted. James was set on using 380 gsm brushed cotton for our sweats – I wanted to make sure our tee shirts were super soft etc.. With factories you just have to ask for the qualities and techniques you require and explain really clearly and send examples.
Most factories specialise in certain types of production and cannot do everything HOWEVER most agents will not tell you this and will try to complete any task – we have found this can be time consuming and expensive. Try and use specialists for whatever you’re making.
Q:’ How do you choose what materials to work with? Have you considered using linen?
A:’ We’re into Sportswear – we love jersey and sweat fabrics. I am not that knowledgable about linen to be honest.
Q:’ What has been the highlight of your career?
A:’ Launching Ruff and Huddle at Selfridges was pretty good.’ We feel a real sense of achievement when we open new wholesale accounts like Liberty and Colette.
Q:’ Why do you love your job?
Q:‘ What has been the most challenging?
A:‘ Having a warehouse in house and not being able to separate my real life from my work life. Thankfully I have a warehouse now!
Q:’ What important lessons would you advise someone who is thinking of staring out their own business?
A:’ Make sure its from the heart and you can get your mates to help you.
Q:’ Do you participate in trade fairs and if you do, how important are they to your business?
A:’ We do kids trade shows [Bubble London, Playtime Tokyo] and we did a menswear tradeshow [Jacket Required] (as the only kids brand) recently. Yeah, they’re massively important to reach out to stores who we might not think of canvassing for business. We have met ‘ stylists and editors from magazines, you get to know the other people in the industry weather they’re competitors
Q:’ What does success mean to you?
A:’ Getting a result ..