Podcast: Jo Tutchener Sharp, Founder and CEO of Scamp & Dude

May 9, 2022 Sophie Colquhoun

Our latest podcast episode is with Jo Tutchener Sharp and you're in for an inspirational listen on life and business! 

Jo started Scamp & Dude in 2016, after life-saving brain surgery. During that time, she was away from her children and after struggling to find something to comfort them, the idea for Superpower infused kids clothes and Sleep Buddy was born . In this episode, she shares more of her story and how Scamp & Dude have grown into the brand it is today. 

Jo also talks to Sorcha about the natural evolution of the brand, listening to the Scamp & Dude community, why she'll never lose her values and so much more. Plus,  there's a very exciting reveal towards the end! 

Listen to the podcast below: 

Or, if you prefer, you can read the transcription below. 

Today I’m so excited to welcome Jo Tutchener-Sharp onto the podcast. For anybody who doesn’t know, Jo is the founder of Scamp & Dude, the brilliant women’s fashion brand famous for its leopard print and bright colours. But which it is also about so much more than clothes alone. Jo has been named the Female Business Owner of The Year, by the British Business Awards amongst a plethora of other awards. So, Jo, I’m just delighted to have you here on the show. I do think sometimes you know that we use the word inspirational a little bit too loosely sometimes, but I think in your case it’s really the only accurate word. Your story truly is an inspiration, and I can’t wait for you to tell us more about it. But before we get into all of that, how are you? How are you doing? How’s life?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Oh, thank you, thank you for that nice introduction as well. I’m good, everything’s great. Yeah. The sun’s shining, so I’m happy.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, can’t beat it; can’t beat a bit of sunshine. Before we kind of get into Scamp & Dude and you know that whole story, I’d love if we could kind of bring it back a little bit. Your early career was in beauty and PR. Can you tell me about how you started out at the very beginning and what kind of brands you worked with, what kind of work you were doing?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yes, I studied fashion promotion at university and there was, it was like a sandwich course where you did a year placement. So, I moved to London for that year and worked at various PR companies and worked my socks off, because you didn’t get paid on the placement. So I’d worked in GAP, folding clothes at the weekend and evenings so that I could do more free placement and so I could work at the places I really wanted to work. So, I worked at an agency called Exposure, I worked in a Paul Smith press office and Diesel press office and then my final role was at Purple PR. And then when I left university, I’d got two job offers by this point because I’d worked at so many places on placements - so I went to work at Purple PR, which was my first PR job. I was there for seven years, started off in fashion PR representing brands like Calvin Klein underwear and Jade Jagger, she had a jewellery line, so I worked very closely with her, and then we were approached by a beauty brand Ruby and Millie makeup and that was a big turning point for my career really. I was asked if I wanted to represent Ruby and Millie and initially, I didn’t want to go into beauty. Fashion had always been the area that I wanted to go into. But I met Ruby and Millie, Ruby Hammer and Millie Kendall and they were the coolest women, they are still good friends of mine now. They’re just brilliant and inspirational and I think I had a bit of a-, I just thought of beauty as when you go into a beauty hall and women can be like, “Can I help you?” and it’s all very, it felt a bit fluffy and I was like, “Oh, that’s not me,” but Ruby Hammer and Millie Kendall showed me the beauty industry is not all that, there is another side to it of these really cool, sassy women and so I said, “Yes, I’ll represent Ruby and Millie as well.” So, I started off doing fashion and this amazing makeup line, I don’t know if you remember Ruby and Millie, but it was a brilliant, brilliant, makeup line. And then we did a good job on Ruby and Millie, so we got approached by more and more beauty brands and suddenly we had a whole beauty division, and I was running the beauty division, ran it for seven years. And then I was approached by Estée Lauder to go and head up their communications and to launch Tom Ford beauty as well, which was just such an amazing experience. I think for me working, running the PR for Estée Lauder, that was like my finishing school. It also taught me how PR and communications works within a brand. So before when you’re in a PR agency you’re just doing the PR whereas when you go and work in-house you really understand how PR works for the whole business and you understand a brand as a whole because you’re working closely with the sales team and the marketing, and the training staff, everybody. You understand how it all works, which was, I always say it’s like my finishing school and Tom Ford beauty was incredible to work on because Tom Ford is an absolute hero of mine. His attention to detail is like no one else I’ve ever worked with and that was a brilliant experience as well. Then it went from there to set up my own PR company which was called Beauty SEEN and I ran that for eight years. We looked after brands like NARS, co-shared the Soho House brand. We launched Christian Louboutin Beauty, launched Topshop Makeup, loads of beauty brands and I ended up with fifty members of staff. It grew so much quicker than I thought it was going to grow and then when I started a family, when my eldest was two and a half I had my second child, that’s when I knew it was time to kind of make a change and I knew I wanted to start a brand, but I was actually going to launch a beauty brand to start with. So, I was creating a skincare brand with a friend of mine who is a big skincare blogger. That’s kind of the journey that I was on and that’s my kind of beauty history.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And then you kind of segued into Scamp & Dude. Can you tell me how that came about because if you were planning to go into beauty and then you went into well initially kidswear and now womenswear, how did that happen?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: So when I was selling my shares in my company, it’s so difficult to exit yourself from your own business, emotionally and logistically and I found it incredibly stressful and I ended up with this spasm in my face where I went to the Doctor and the Doctor said, “Oh God, whatever you’ve got going on in your life, you need to stop it. You’re incredibly stressed you’re going to make yourself ill”. And so, I wrapped everything up really quickly and I was like, just was, just got to stop it. You know negotiating how much your shares are worth it’s so complicated and ugh. So, I knew I had to stop and move on and I was moving on setting up the skincare line and really excited about setting up the skincare line. I got the name, we registered the name, we were looking at formulations and packaging and that, I was really excited about that. But then, one day I suddenly had this absolute killer headache, it was a severe, severe headache, one of my eyes had shut, I went along to the Doctor who sent me straight to Hospital and to cut a story short I’d had a brain haemorrhage and they discovered a lump on my brain, which we didn’t know what it was at that point. So, my whole life completely changed at that moment. My kids were only one and three at the time and the thought of leaving them without a mum was just completely life changing, it’s still, like I’ve got goosebumps even saying that. I’ll never forget that moment when the doctor came in and said, “You’ve had a brain haemorrhage and we found a lump on your brain”. And then she checked for lumps on my breasts and in my lymph and walked out “Have you any history of cancer in your family?” and then she walked out. It was one o’clock in the morning and I was on my own in this hospital room and I spent the rest of the night until the next day just staring at this, something on the ceiling it was like a heat censor or something and I was just staring at it going, “I cannot leave my children, I cannot leave them,” and knowing that my life had changed at that moment and just, oh it was horrendous. So, then we had a couple of months of they were monitoring this lump, they didn’t know if it was a brain tumour, a cancerous brain tumour or what’s called a cavernoma which is a cluster of abnormal blood cells. And the problem was if it was a cavernoma it could bleed again and usually the next bleed could kill you and mine had been a slow bleed but the next one might have been a lot bigger and faster. So, they were monitoring it and if the bleed was growing, if it was still bleeding and if the actual lump was growing and in the end they said, “Right we think, we need to remove it”, because they wondered if they could treat it with radiotherapy or something first. So I booked in, in the January. The haemorrhage was in the October, they wanted to do it before Christmas and I just said, “I’d, look, I’d quite like to have one last Christmas. If I’m not going to make it through, I want a last Christmas with my kids and my parents and my husband and my family.” So, I had a very emotional Christmas and New Year’s. You can imagine not knowing I was going to have another and going in for the surgery saying goodbye to my parents, saying goodbye to the kids, which again was just part of this absolutely life changing experience that I went through. And facing the surgery, one thing that kept really playing on my mind was, I just kept looking back at my life. Like you hear this in films and you kind of don’t really think about it, about the pearly gates, but you do go there. I totally went there and what kept bothering me was that I hadn’t really made a big difference and I hadn’t done enough good. I’d run a 10k when my dad was poorly to raise money for Cancer Research other than that, I mean I always sponsored people if they were doing something, but I just felt like I hadn’t done, personally done enough. And my dad was really sweet and would say, “You’ve gave 50 people jobs with Beauty SEEN, like you’ve done something, don’t worry.” And I was like “It’s not enough; it’s not enough. I wish I’d done more good.” So, I made myself a little pact, if I come out of this surgery my next job is going to be doing something good, didn’t have a clue what that would be, but I wanted to make a difference. So luckily, I did come out the surgery, high as a kite in Intensive Care, like just so happy to have made it, to have been given a second chance and I had this new fire in my belly that I was going to do something to help people. And this burning desire to do that was just, at the forefront of everything really as well as the relief of being, being alive and being around. So, the first inkling, the first kind of bubbling away of Scamp & Dude happened in hospital when I didn’t see the kids for ten days. I’d probably only ever not seen them for two days before this moment, but I didn’t want them to see me because one side of my head was shaved with cut from side-, I looked like Frankenstein with twenty staples down my head and that’s terrifying to see anyone like that let alone your mother when you’re a child. So, I didn’t want them to come in and see me, but I found it being really hard being apart from them and I really worried what they were feeling. And I just was thinking of what I wished had been available to comfort them and what I came up with I thought, “I wish I could have found a cuddly superhero and I could have said to them like “This superhero is watching over you,” and then I thought “God if there was a pocket on the back I could have put my photo and said mummy’s still here. You snuggle on to this superhero, it’s going to keep you safe and mummy’s right there.” So, and obviously it wasn’t available but when I came out of Hospital I thought “I’m going to try and make these superheroes and I’m going to try and make, so for every one sold I can donate one to a child who loses a parent - because that’s what I was worried about leaving my kids - or a child whose seriously ill themselves and has to be in hospital away from their siblings, away from their parents. And that was, that was the very start of Scamp & Dude. So, I came out of hospital, kind of the middle of January, and I registered the company name Scamp & Dude in the March. And then I was absolutely on a mission to find manufacturers, I decided I wanted a clothing line to go with it too because I thought when kids go to nursery, when they go to school, I want to fill them with superpowers and courage, and I came up with the idea of having a superpower button on everything. So that’s our pink, neon pink lightning bolt that’s on every garment. That started, it is a superpower button and it was for kids to press to get their superpowers when they’re going to school, they’re going to nursery or any time they just need a burst of courage they press it to get their superpowers and that’s where the leopard and lightning bolt arrow, most well-known print is our leopard and lightning bolt print, and that really was a superpower infused leopard print. And with my fashion history of at university, I got so excited about designing a clothing line. So got totally carried away with that and we started off with just two adult sweatshirts the rest was kids. So, we had various shapes of kid’s joggers and sweatshirts and t-shirts and long-sleeved t-shirts and obviously the superhero sleep buddies and just two women’s sweatshirts when we launched, purely because when I was designing them, I was like “Oh my God, I want to wear these!” And luckily, yeah, I think everyone else kind of felt the same with the womenswear as we’ve now turned into a full womenswear brand.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Thank you so much for sharing that, it really is the most incredible story, it really, really is. I’m really interested to hear about your transition from kidswear to womenswear because it’s kind of a difficult thing for a brand to do but like you’ve, like you are really like a proper established fashion brand. You know like you’re in Liberty London, it’s phenomenal. How did you do that? How do that happen?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: So when we launched when we first launched, we launched into Liberty with the kidswear. So that was quite a magical moment for me in the process of producing Scamp & Dude and everything was new to me. Finding production was new, finding manufacturers, everything was new. Finding a stockist. Everything was a whole, alien really, but I think the fact that I’d gone through nearly loosing my life I had no, I didn’t have the fear that I would have had beforehand, and I didn’t see the barriers that I would have seen beforehand. I just thought, “I can do it, let’s find a way. We can do it”. And I just kind of beavered along without the fear thinking “I can make this work; I can do this”. And it was finding the factories and then one day I had this DM on Instagram from the beauty buyer at Liberty just saying, “I’ve heard a whisper that you’re creating a beauty brand could you come in and see me because I think it might be interesting for Liberty.” Because she knew of my reputation of having my PR agency and what I did there she thought it might be interesting for them. And I wrote back and said, “Oh actually it’s not, it’s not a beauty brand anymore it’s now a kids brand,” because we started off as a kids brand. And she wrote back, “Well as fate would have it, I’m now Head of Kids and Beauty.” It was like, “Oh my God!”, absolutely another prickly moment, goose-bump moment. And she’s called Sarah Coonan and she’s now the total Head Buyer of everything at Liberty and so I went in and met with her and showed her just, I didn’t have samples. I just had all the designs, I had my business plan and all the designs to show her and she just said, “I absolutely love it, I love it all, we’ll take it all.” And I was just like, “Oh my!”, absolute crazy moment but a really magical one. So, when we launched in the November that year we launched into Liberty and on our website. So, Liberty’s always been a really important part of the whole story. For me it’s the store that I feel the most passionately about because they’ve been there the whole time. Sarah Coonan’s been such a support, we’ve always been in Liberty, the kidswear has been in Liberty since 2016 and then since launch, I mean really quickly, because the two sweatshirts that was womens sweatshirts we launched, I could not keep them in stock straight away. So, I started doing more colours in the women’s and started doing t-shirts and joggers, started doing more womenswear but again it was overtaking the kidswear. It was an organic thing if it’s what my customers wanted like, the community of Scamp & Dude is absolutely amazing. We’re so close to our customers and I think because of social media we have a great Facebook group called Scamp and Duders and our Instagram, I’m very involved with chatting to people on Instagram, and I listen to what they want, and they wanted more. And then dresses came about when I was being invited to awards ceremonies and going collecting awards and things likes this and I’d have to wear other peoples dresses because I didn’t, I couldn’t wear my tracksuit, I couldn’t wear my Scamp & Duke tracksuit to go and collect an award. So, I had to wear other people’s dresses and I thought, “Well I do wear dresses, why aren’t I making dresses?” So, we started making dresses then and they have really taken off. And I think the reason we’ve gone into more womenswear has been because that’s what our customers want and it’s what I want, and my team want. And how I’ve done it I think if you’d had said to me when I first started, “You can launch a womenswear brand”, even though I said about not seeing barriers, and having the fire in my belly and not having the fear, I still would have had a bit of fear about that. Because creating a womenswear brand would have been a bit more overwhelming than launching a kids brand. Whereas now I think over the years I’ve built a team who have experience in working on womenswear fashion brands, they know the right ethical and sustainable factories and suppliers and they’ve got the experience which has given me more confidence as well to go into different areas. That’s really helps a huge amount as well and yeah now we’re 90% womenswear. We’ve got a kids division still, that will obviously always stay, but it’s the womenswear that’s really the main part of the brand.

Sorcha O’Boyle: I mean that really is incredible. It really, really is. You touched on unsustainability there because I know it’s a big focus for you. Can you tell me how you work sustainability into your design process?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yes so, I think with everything when we’re starting a production, it’s what’s the most sustainable way we can make this? So it’s looking at everything that’s available. Like with our swimwear we were able to make them out of recycled plastic bottles, the same with some of our bags, they’re made out of recycled plastic bottles and all of our dresses are made out of ecovero viscose which is the most sustainable viscose you can use. We use organic cotton and it’s a with all of our factories it’s all about-, and our denim is one of the most sustainable denim factories out there, they’re incredible. And what I love about our suppliers is they won’t do anything. They’d run out of organic cotton, but they wouldn’t use cotton instead of the organic cotton because they’d run out. They were just like, “We can’t do that”, so and I just love the passion and the kind of, “No this isn’t about just making money, it’s about doing things properly and doing things correctly,” and sustainability is a real part of that.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, absolutely and it’s interesting that you say, you know that you’re, it’s not about making money it’s about doing things the right way. Because that’s very much part of your ethos as well at Scamp & Dude, you know from the ground up, particularly around your charity collaborations, I think. Could you tell me a little bit more about those?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah, to start with, the charity collaborations were really with the gifting. So, with our superhero sleep buddies we donate one for every one sold to children in hospital or children who have lost parents. So, we’ve donated over 5000 superhero sleep buddies now. But we also launched super scarfs, which are, gorgeous animal print scarfs, brightly coloured beautiful scarfs that we donate one of those to a woman with cancer or the mother of a child with cancer for every one sold as well and that came about because through our community and through chatting to people on Instagram, I realised how hard this was the parents and how many women were very poorly and were reaching out to me because they knew I’d been poorly and to just have a chat and all these women going through these terrible things and I thought “I want to give them something too. I want to be able to gift them something.” And I came up with the idea of a scarf because when I was in hospital I had this big scarf from home that I used to wrapped myself in, it’s almost like a comfort blanket and I thought “I want to do scarfs”. So, for me sending out a scarf to someone it’s almost like sending them a hug to go, “I’m thinking of you, you don’t even know me, but I’m thinking of you. I know what you’re going through, put this brightly coloured scarf around you, it’s going to make you feel better just having a superpower infused scarf wrapped around you and make you smile to think someone’s thinking about you”. And that was, that was the idea for that and since we’ve launched, we’ve donated over 5500 of the scarves and that’s incredible because we only launched them a couple of years ago we had some and then they sold out and I’ve only just re-launched them, and they are flying. And the thing with those is, it’s not, like I said it’s not about making money. I don’t make money out of the scarfs, the profit goes to the other one being donated because I don’t donate a lesser scarf, it’s exactly the same scarf. So, I know brands who sometimes do the one for one, but they donate a kind of a cheaper product to the donated one, ours isn’t. It’s exactly the same. And I don’t mind that I don’t make money on those items because they’re not about that, they’re the heart of the brand, they’re about doing good and giving back and that’s what they’re all about. We have charity items too that are giving profits and what I always try and do as well is, it always kind of narks me a little when I hear people go, “We’re giving a percentage of the profits”, and it’s like a pound or something like that. You’re just like, “Are you doing that because you really want to help or are you doing that because you want to look like you’re helping”. And that, the thing for me is I want to help, but I really want to help. When the war started and I was watching the news it was like, “Oh my God I can’t bear this. What can we do? Right, let’s turn this t-shirt into a charity collab and let’s give all the profits. So, we gave all the profits from each one, so say £10 or, from each t-shirt and overnight we just put it out on Instagram and said, “Look, I know you guys want to help as well so this is what we’re going to do we’re going to give all the profit in this t-shirt to Ukraine to Choose Love and they sold out overnight. So, we made £5000 for Choose Love to help with Ukraine overnight and I think it’s about, for me, it’s about putting your money where your mouth is really and if you want to help, really helping, not just trying to look good by helping a bit.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah absolutely. You know it’s funny sometimes when you speak to brands and as they grow and as they kind of change they find it hard to maintain their original ethos, so they maybe feel that they get a little bit lost along the way. But listening to you it sounds like you’ve actually only just grown into your ethos even more than when you first started. You know it just, it’s-, no.

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah, I would never, I’d never let it go and I think the good thing is as well my team wouldn’t either and I don’t believe my customers would either because that’s, it’s important to them too. They know when they’re buying into Scamp & Dude that they’re buying into something so much more than just clothes, they’re helping in some way too and they feel good about that, it makes them feel good also.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah of course and can you tell me a little bit about your team? You know, who are they? Because it sounds like you have a real powerhouse there behind you. Can you tell me about them?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: For the first few years, it was just me on my own and I was doing everything and I think that’s really important to do everything because I think you need to know how the business works and you need to experience it, but also you’ve got to, you’ve got to do it all yourself first before you go and-. I’m also very careful about the financials and not hiring anyone until we really need that person in and then I mean I’ve got people in the team who have been with me for three and a half years, so they’re basically my first employees and they’re still with us which is amazing. So, we do have a really lovely work ethic and team and I’m always very supportive of everyone. Most of the people that work with us have kids, there’s only, I think there’s only two, but we’ve got a new hire coming on so maybe three, that don’t have children. And a big thing for me is I never want any of my team to feel like they worked their whole life and didn’t get to see their kids, I never want that regret. So, I’m very much about flexible working. I say to them, “I always encourage working four days,” so five days over four so you can do pick up or - my senior team now all do actually work five days a week - but flexibly. So, they can pick up their kids, they can spend time with their kids and then they pick up after. I trust them to get the job done and that’s something that’s really important to me because I remember when I had my PR company and I’d just had Sonny I had this horrible feeling of, God I didn’t have a child to never see them. I’m going to miss out on all of this, and I felt really sad about it. So, I love the fact now that I’ve got a team and there’s twenty-one of us and everyone knows that they’re not going to have that. You know it’s like a noose around your neck that you can’t see your kids, you can’t-, that they can make it work for them and that’s really important to me.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And it must be great for your kids to see their mum, you know, building something like such an incredible brand and to have all these people working with you. It must be really inspiring for them.

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah, they’re so part a part of it, they’re so part of everything and they come and complain when, they’ve been complaining recently that I’m always talking about the women’s clothes and not the kids clothes and it’s not fair and, they’ll put their ideas in and Sonny actually did a design for the collection last summer, which was where he did the illustrations some funny little pictures. I mean Sonny is Scamp and Jude is Dude so they feel very much part of it. And they’ll walk in and sometimes some of my team are here because we have meetings here and they just take it in their stride, they’re just so part of it which is lovely. And I think my team, I do have a really great team and we’re close, like we all get on really, really well and I really believe that they really love what they do as well, like they really care, and they’ll protect the brand as well like we were talking before about the purpose and the heart of the brand. I don’t believe any of them would let that slip either because it matters to them too, it really matters to them and that’s really important.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah and it something that really comes across, you know, even looking at your website or your Instagram or anything you can just like you can just, almost feel it coming off the screen on your computer. I mean I haven’t seen any of your pieces in person, but you can just feel the love and the kindness and the courage that comes off the screen so it’s wonderful, it really is wonderful.

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Thank you

Sorcha O’Boyle: I suppose if we, we’re kind of thinking a little bit about the future then. What are you excited about for Scamp & Dude over the next few years?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: So, we haven’t announced it yet so it’s bit of an exclusive.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Oh, okay the inside scoop.

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah, we’re opening a shop. So, we used to have a shop in Highgate in North London and that’s when I lived in in Crouch End, but then we moved away – it will be three years ago this summer – we moved and so and I closed the shop during the first lock down. We were about to renew the lease and because of lockdown we were shut down and still having to pay the rent, still having to pay everything, I was just like “Just close the shop.” It was a tiny little shop in Highgate and let’s just look at opening once the whole pandemics calmed down and actually I’d rather it be closer to where I live now. So, we’re opening a shop in Marlow and yeah, I’m really excited. And so a big project at the moment but it’s going to be a lot more than just a shop. It’s going to be a place for, like I talked about how special our community are and it’s a place that they can all come and get together. So, we’re going to hold events there and people can come in and experience the world of Scamp & Dude. So I can’t, yeah, I can’t wait. It’s going to be really exciting.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Amazing, amazing. It must be pure fun for you as well because you’re so creative, you know, going through the whole design process and imagining how people are going to use the space and how they are going to interact with everything it must be so exciting.

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah, and my husband’s really involved with the shop as well so his background is experiential and events, live experiences. So this is just his, he’s taking this, because when, he was the one that said, “I think we should open a shop here”, and I was like “I have not got the capacity to do anything more than I’m doing.” And he was like, “Okay what if I take on the project of actually getting it ready to launch and I can help the experiential with the events side”, and I was like “Okay.” And then we got a little bit more and more excited and went looking at first spaces and then found the perfect space and we were like, “Oh my goodness!” So, he’s very much kind of spearheading the shop, which has been really nice to work together on as well actually. We have a few moments because I always know exactly what I want and exactly what I don’t want and, but he actually he does as well so we have these moments where he’s going, “So I think it’s really great with this,” and I’m thinking, “I don’t like it.” We’re having to be really careful not to and just be like “Oh so, I think it might be a little bit better like this” So finding ways to work together is quite interesting.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, all part of the learning. Is this your first time working with him like this?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yes. Yes. Obviously, he’s involved with Scamp & Dude in so far as we’re a family and he knows what’s going on, but he’s not worked, we’ve not worked together before so this is yeah, I guess it’s like a little test really to see how it goes for future things he could get involved with as well.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Absolutely yeah. He could be your Chief of Events or Chief of (…) [00:31:37]

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: Yeah.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Oh that’s fantastic, that’s so exciting. And, you know I think you’re somebody who, you know, like I said obviously is very creative and you’ve launched your businesses, two very successful businesses. But if you were speaking to somebody who maybe is at day one, has an idea, has a brand that they want to build. What kind of advice would you give them?

Jo Tutchener-Sharp: I would say to make sure that you are absolutely ready and willing to make huge sacrifices to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Because I’ve seen people start brands and think, “Oh yeah I’ll do this, because it will be a bit easier than having my job that I’ve got currently”. And it’s not, it’s so much harder and I’ve also had friends start businesses but not want to actually do everything themselves. They’re like “Oh no I need someone else to do that, I need someone”, and you’re like, “You can’t when you start, you’ve got to have that passion to be willing to do it all yourself and get stuck in and work really, really hard. So that’s one thing. The other would be to make sure it’s something that you absolutely love and that you can see yourself loving in ten years’ time. Don’t think of it as a short-term thing, think, “Am I going to still absolutely love this in ten years’ time”, because it is such hard work and you’ve got to love it so much and I think for me with Scamp & Dude I love it so much and the purpose side, the people we’re helping, that helps. You can have a stressful day, you can see a narky comment on social media, you know, there’s always things that get you down and can really pull you down and make you think, “Oh God, I really am. Why am I doing this again?” And then you’re reminded why you’re doing it again by the emails from the customers telling us how much the super scarves lifted her on the day she’s been having chemo, or the child whose battling cancer in hospital and has just been given a superhero sleep buddy and the parents saying “You’ve just made him smile for the first time in two weeks,” and I think stories like that and you go, “This is why we’re doing it, put your smile back on and get back to it.” And I think having a purpose in your brand, and it doesn’t have to be a charitable purpose, but having a reason for you to do it, that helps you get through everything. So, if it’s something that really means something to you that’s going to lift you on the days that you’re having a hard time and feeling like, “Oh God. Relentless.” I think they’re the two main things I would say and try not to see barriers, try not to have the fear, which is really hard to say, to say that but yeah, think big.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Think big. Okay, listen Jo. I’m going to leave it there. We’ll wrap this up there. That was so brilliant. I loved speaking to you. Thank you so much.

Sorcha O’Boyle: That was Jo Tutchener-Sharp, Founder of Scamp & Dude. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and don’t forget that you can catch up on all our previous podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you usually get your podcasts. We’ve a whole back catalogue of chats with brilliant business leaders at Hush, WYSE London, This Works and so many more. For me though, that’s it for now.



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