Podcast: Mandy Watkins and Rupert Youngman, Hush

March 15, 2022 Sophie Colquhoun

Mandy Watkins and Rupert Youngman are the wife and husband team behind the hugely successful womenswear and lifestyle brand Hush and we're thrilled to have them on our Industry Leaders podcast this week. 

In 2003, Mandy started Hush after moving from Australia to London, and Rupert later joined to help with finance. In this episode, they discuss the beginnings of Hush and their future plans. They cover building their team, design inspiration, and  putting sustainability at the forefront plus, their best piece of advice for small businesses starting out! 

Listen to the full episode below or if you prefer to read, scroll down to read the full interview. 


Sorcha O’Boyle: Hello and welcome to the Industry Leaders Podcast. Where we talk to the leaders of some of the most exciting retail and travel brands and hear the real stories behind their success, their challenges, and their plans for the future. I’m Sorcha O’Boyle and this podcast is brought to you by More2, the marketing science people. Now I’m really excited to introduce you to this week’s guests, and I have two of them here with me today. Mandy Watkins and Rupert Youngman are the husband and wife team behind the hugely successful womenswear and lifestyle brand Hush. Mandy and Rupert, it’s really great to have you both here and you’re both very, very welcome to the show. How are you?

Mandy Watkins: Thank you very much for having us. We’re very well, thank you.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Good, yeah. I’ve been looking forward to having you on for ages, so I’m delighted you’re here. Now there’s so much I want to hear about Hush, it’s such a great brand. But Mandy you were really the founder of the brand back in at day one, so I’ll start with you if that’s okay? Why did you create Hush and what did you want to achieve when you started out?

Mandy Watkins: Initially it was really in response to I guess an Aussie moving from a southern hemisphere to experience the northern hemisphere winters. And I think, you know, when people said it gets darker at four o’clock, I thought you know, you must be lying. But it’s true. It does get dark at four o’clock and it rains a lot and it wet and it's cold and I thought during that time I don’t want to be anywhere other than inside and if I’m going to be spending months inside, I want it to be as lovely as possible. So, I think the initial idea was just try and make a night in something really enjoyable and special. So that’s where the idea came from.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And what prompted you to make the move from the lovely southern warm southern hemisphere to (***) 00:02:08

Mandy Watkins: It happened in parts; I think. I first moved to Hong Kong, and I was transferred there with work and whilst there I met Ru and he convinced me to move to the UK. So, it was really because of him that I moved to the UK. I wasn’t really intending to stay here for twenty years, but that’s what happened.

Sorcha O’Boyle: It’s funny how that happens sometimes. Tell me, have the northern hemisphere winters grown on you at all?

Mandy Watkins: No, no, not till this day.

Sorcha O’Boyle: No. [Inaudible 00:02:37] that one. One thing I’d love to know is, why did you choose the name Hush? Where did the name come from?

Mandy Watkins: I think initially because the idea was all about sort of cosy nights in, enjoying down time and so Hush really resonated with that because it’s sort of quiet and I guess quite calming so that’s where the name came from. I also wanted a name, having sort of worked in advertising, I also wanted a name that if it did expand beyond that segment, it would still be, you know, a relevant name for a business that wasn’t just focusing on cosy nights in.

Rupert Youngman: You could have called it Mandy Watkins, couldn’t you?

Mandy Watkins: I really couldn’t, yeah. Horrible name.

Sorcha O’Boyle: I was going to ask why you didn’t call it after yourself because a lot of those companies do.

Mandy Watkins: Oh gosh! With a name like Mandy, yeah, no. We haven’t even got a product called after me, so, named after me, so [Inaudible 00:03:35] as a brand.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And tell me Rupert, when and why did you come on board?

Rupert Youngman: I was working from home. I was a journalist at the time and Mandy started the business, I mean literally at our table in our living room. And just walking past watching her particularly do her finances, particularly quarter-end doing the VAT. It was stressing me out so much, Mandy is not very numerate as everyone in Hush will know, so I said “Right then okay. I’m going to take over your finances,” because at least I was spending more time probably stressing about it than I would do, doing it myself. So, I started then and then in 2005 we had our first child, so Mandy was looking for some mat cover. So, I am the longest mat coverer I think, either fifteen, sixteen years, but I said I’d do two years and I’m still here now.

Mandy Watkins: Yeah, and I’m still in the UK after twenty so I feel like it balances itself out really.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, I feel like that’s fair. And I heard you speak before, I think, on a different podcast Mandy, about the Spirit of Christmas Fair and UGG boots. For anyone who hasn’t heard that story can you tell me because I think it’s a great story?

Mandy Watkins: So I said to Ru, having got-, “I’m going to the Spirit of Christmas Fair would you mind just manning the phone which may ring once possibly twice today, so it’s not going to be a time consuming job for you just while I’m at the Spirit of Christmas over the next few days”. And he said “Absolutely, that’s no problem whatsoever. You know, two calls I reckon I can handle that”. Anyway, I went unaware that – I think it was the Daily Mail – were about to do a piece on UGG boots and mention us as a supplier of UGG boots and there weren’t many suppliers of UGG boots in the UK at the time and so the phone went absolutely nuts and he called me, and he said, “Literally every time I put it down it just rings again, and I haven’t been able to get any work done whatsoever”. Yeah, and I think it went on for pretty much two days until we sold out of all our stock, and he took the phone off the hook in the end anyway. So great customer service, yeah.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, I think there’s a reason you’re in charge of finance Rupert.

Rupert: [Laughs] Certainly not customer service that’s for sure.

Sorcha: And can you tell me, you know when you look back, because you know I think you started in 2003, if I’m correct. Are there any kind of big, you know, turning moments that stand out for you in the history of the business?

Rupert: I think it’s the, the first one is when you get an order from somebody you don’t know, because literally the first few orders are all from family and friends and then they’re from friends of friends. So, I think that’s quite a big moment, but actually if you look at I suppose the lifetime of the business there are a couple of things. One of which, in 2009 we became a client of More2 which was quite a big undertaking for us at the time and I do remember the first time we sent out catalogues and so that nervously waiting for the results, because previously we would have had no way of actually knowing if they had been successful or not. And I think the phrase was “Print as many as you can, or as many as you can afford and send them out,” because the test was so positive. So, I think that was a big turning point for us. It gave us the confidence to really invest and expand the business and there are other things along the way. I mean we went with John Lewis in 2016, which certainly had an effect on brand awareness, but by and large, we’ve grown the business sort of year on year for eighteen years, so every year we’ve grown the business. So, I don’t think there’s any turning point as such it’s just a lot of milestones along the way, I guess.

Sorcha O’Boyle: So, I think one thing that must have been a big change for Hush is obviously you started back, you know, just one person, then two people and obviously it must have grown quite slowly the first few years and now you’ve got a great big team behind you. What have you learned from people around you? How has that changed the business or how has it changed you guys?

Rupert Youngman: And then I think you learn every day. I mean you’ve got; you have a very disparate group of people from age, backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities etc, in the business so I think you learn so much anyway from that but I just think that business or anything you do is so much better done with other people. Being able to share success and laugh over your failures and whatever and so I think it has been a real incredible experience, I think, it’s, it is something I think Mandy says it to the team all the time that it’s because of them that she loves what she does so much.

Mandy Watkins: That would be the one thing that if I wasn’t doing it that I would miss more than I think anything else is just working with people. So, lock down for me, not being able to go into the office I hated it because I just like having the people around. Yeah. So, you know, I would never get to hang out with twenty-five year olds, if I didn’t have Hush and I really enjoy getting to hang out with twenty-five year olds.

Rupert Youngman: Our sixteen-year-old daughter just started work about three weeks ago and she’s working in a restaurant – she loves the people she works with and they’re a very different age to her but she does say, she said you know she would pretty well work for free. I’d better probably not say that sort of out loud otherwise they might take her at her word. But I think she enjoys it so much she says it’s actually better than spending time at home a lot of the time, so that might say something about home, but it does show I think it’s the people that make a job.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Oh yeah. 100%. Can you tell me a little bit about your team? How do you, when someone walks into an interview how do you know that they’re the kind of person you want with you?

Rupert Youngman: Personality. Always hire on personality, I think. I mean I, it’s actually weird not being involved in hiring decisions, in all hiring decision any more, but certainly when we were it was about personality more than experience because I think you can teach people how to do a job but that whole roll your sleeves up can do, you either have it or you haven’t and you just love it in people when they do.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Tell me have you found it difficult, or have you not found it difficult to kind of let go of control as it’s gotten bigger? Because you must have been like completely immersed in every single decision at the very beginning and now that, you know, you have to delegate or let other people take control of that.

Mandy Watkins: Some things are really easy to let go because I’m pretty rubbish at them and the people that we’ve got, that you’re letting go to, are so much better at it than you are so, those sorts of things are really easy. Some things more difficult because I guess a big part of things like the product and maybe even the way we talk to customers is so intuitive and even hearing people answer the phone for the first time, when we got somebody on in customer services, and you kind of think “I’m not sure that’s how I would have spoken”. But obviously you can’t answer every single call, but yeah, and I think our customer services team are fantastic, but it is quite weird, but you know, has to be done.

Rupert Youngman: I think everyone would say about me, he definitely has problems relinquishing control. I find it very difficult. I think it comes from caring. I think you care a lot, you have an opinion on how things should be done, I think it comes from the right place, although I know I need to be better at it.

Sorcha O’Boyle: I mean that’s a hard thing to do.

Mandy Watkins: When Ru first said to me, “I’ll take over the finances,” it took me all of about, you know, point two seconds to say, “Okay you do that”.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And has he ever tried to take control of design?

Mandy Watkins: No, no, he hasn’t.

Sorcha O’Boyle: I mean there’s a first time for everything.

Rupert Youngman: Exactly.

Sorcha O’Boyle: I’m really interested to hear about what it’s been like for you selling through John Lewis, because I think I’m probably right in saying that you’re a traditionally, a very digital-first business. So going into concessions must have been quite different for you.

Rupert Youngman: It was yes, it was a big decision for us to do it. Luckily, we had someone on board who had experience because neither of us did and I think it would have been very difficult to manage without someone who had experience of I guess bricks and mortar retail but specifically concessions in a department store so, so yes. So, that was I guess for us was the reason we managed to be able to do it reasonably successful from day one, because our focus was very much as you said on creating a digital business.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And I think what’s also noted about Hush is that you have a particularly strong and loyal customer base. Can you tell me a little bit about who your customer is; how you find them; how they find you; and how you build that relationship with them?

Rupert Youngman: What I would say about our customers we really don’t ever define our customer by demographics. So, we never really think of our customer as an age. We think of them more, I guess in two things. One, obviously they enjoy our aesthetic and secondly, it’s more of an attitude and I think if you were to ask us what we think the reason for having a loyal customer was or is, I think a lot of it has been that, it’s been really about a shared attitude towards life, not just about the product but about, you know, all aspects of life because I think, we think of Hush as much more than retail, much more than product, it’s a real interest in the world around us. I think a real care for what we do and how we do it and a real, hopefully, a customer-first view on what we do. So, I would put it down to that but, you know, you might ask our customers and they might say something completely different, but I do that is it. Staying close to your customers is a lot about being true to yourself and knowing that there’s much more to your relationship with your customer than just the fact that they buy clothes from you.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And Mandy, and Rupert touched there on kind of the aesthetics and the building kind of strong identity I think that Hush has. Can you tell me where does the design inspiration come from? Do you have a design background? How did that come about?

Mandy Watkins: I don’t have a design background. You know, we started off with pyjamas and sort of like cardigan and a pair of UGG boots and then it expanded from there and initially it was a little bit like “Oh it would be great to have a vest top to go under those pyjamas and it would be great if we had a big jumper to go-,” so it was very much dictated either I’d be on a shoot thinking that would look so much better if I had this to put with it or from my own personal experience, I need this, I need that, so that would, that certainly initially had a massive impact. It was basically what I’d really wanted in my wardrobe that influenced what got put in the Hush range. So, but I think as a result of that we were quite practical about the decision making when it came to what products we did and didn’t do and I feel like as a brand we do try and be really relevant to people’s lives and I guess when the inspiration for a product comes from real life, then you know, maybe chances are it’s going to be more successful.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And I’m sure you must see products of yours walking around, walking down the streets and yeah, it must be. Yeah (***) 00:12:31 That’s fantastic. Oh yeah. I would say there are lots of very confused people going, “Why am I being photographed by this random stranger?” And I suppose one of the things that interests me, and I don’t know whether you want to answer this but, how do you divide responsibly and tasks between both of you? Because I’m sure, you know, you are kind of the powerhouse, you’re the driving force behind Hush. So?

Mandy Watkins: I do and that’s weird; when that first happened that was really weird. In the same thing when every now and then somebody at a dinner party asked you what you do and you said, “Oh, you know, I work on online clothing,” and they’d say “Which one?”, expecting you to say something that they’ve heard off and they never had and then all of a sudden you’d go to dinners and people would ask you and they’d say, “Oh I have heard of that” and you think, okay, that felt different as well.

Rupert Youngman: I think our merch team used to have a game didn’t they. Every week they used to spot a piece of Hush clothing and I can’t remember what the prize, there was a prize or something for the most, either the most either sort of obscure or whatever. But it was quite a good-,

Mandy Watkins: Double points if you were overseas and you got a-, and also you used to surreptitiously try and take a snap because obviously you had to prove that you’ve seen it, yeah.

Sorcha O’Boyle: That’s fantastic. Oh yeah. I would say there are lots of very confused people going, “Why am I being photographed by this random stranger?” And I suppose one of the things that interests me, and I don’t know whether you want to answer this but, how do you divide responsibly and tasks between both of you? Because I’m sure, you know, you are kind of the powerhouse, you’re the driving force behind Hush. So?

Mandy Watkins: Do you know we’ve just done some renovation to our home which has made me think, “How on earth do we work together?” and I think that the key is we have very different skill sets, interests, and responsibilities at work. So, Ru doesn’t think he’s any good at the things that I do at work and equally I don’t think I’m any good at the things that he does at work so we kind of really respect each other’s roles at work. At home, I’m really good at all the stuff and he’s useless at it, but he hasn’t recognised that fact so it's much more difficult in doing up a house I’ve found. But, at work I think it’s just that we’ve taken on very, very different areas of the business.

Rupert Youngman: She started the business, so she hogged all the fun stuff and left me with all the rest that she didn’t want to do, I think is the simple answer.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, see you should of have gotten in there. Okay. Mandy, how would you describe Hush’s style? If I had to say to you, you know, say it in one sentence. What is the style of Hush?

Mandy Watkins: I think it’s easy, wearable, maybe with a little twist to it, unexpected. Yeah, I always find it, I mean I should find it so easy, but I don’t find it necessarily all that easy to sum up Hush’s style.

Rupert Youngman: It’s definitely, it’s got a bit of Australianness. I think that the laid back, definitely comes through with as Mandy said, with a bit of an edge I think to it, so there you go. I’m describing product now; this is wandering into an area I know nothing about.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And I’d love to hear a little bit more because it really does come across talking to you and also, you know, even just looking at the website and different things that it is definitely more than just a retail brand. You know, you are involved in a lots of different initiatives, like your partnership with Crisis, the homelessness charity; the Takeback service. Can you tell me a little bit about some of those and what you do with them?

Rupert Youngman: Yes, I think in part it started the interest or in things beyond clothes in part, because I know nothing about clothes, so I had to find something to do and therefore we used to talk a lot about brands that Mandy had come across or things that we’d done or in particularly that she’d done. So, it became about a lot more than the clothes and then within that obviously, you do care very much about what’s happening in the world around you. I think we’re all very aware of it and in particularly now, but always. So, the partnership with Crisis really came about from that. I think we started as a brand at home, as Mandy said, and very acutely aware that actually that is almost the sort of sanctuary for people, isn’t it? I think a home and a home life and the fact that there were obviously just so many people in this country and indeed in other countries who don’t have that. So that was how that came about, and also slightly in response I think we’ve supported them for the last few years on Black Friday as well. I think there was a bit of an anti the super consumerism I think, of Black Friday that we didn’t feel very comfortable with and never felt very comfortable with and I think it seemed better that if we were going to, what we were going to do on Black Friday should have a purpose and that was the motivation I think or in part, how the partnership with Crisis came about.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Another thing I’d love to hear from you about is the Hush approach to sustainability. You know obviously it’s hugely important, particularly for retail brands and I know, you are part of the Cotton 2040 initiative as well. Maybe you could you tell me a little bit about that and what you’re doing in terms of sustainability?

Robert: Yes so, I think when we started it was not on anyone’s radar really, or at least, very, very few people’s radar. We set up the business and it wasn’t really until, I guess sort of the last five years where we’ve really started to realise I think, the impact of fashion in general on the environment and on the people we share this planet with. So, we’ve made massive strides in the last few years. But one thing I would say about Hush is that we’ve always designed clothes to be worn, to be worn lots and increasingly hopefully by more than one person with our Takeback Service and giving second life to products. So it is inherently a lower impact business than a lot of certainly fast fashion. But we are really, really committed as a team of individuals, as a brand, as a business. Our investors are one of the only, if not the only, B Corp in their sector. It is a huge issue, as you said, it’s a huge issue across fashion retail in particular but retail in general and you know the wider world. It’s so and it’s a massive passion of a lot of people who work at Hush.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And do you find it difficult to find suppliers who align with those values or is it becoming easier as time goes on?

Mandy Watkins: I think it’s becoming much easier, I do, yeah. It’s such a requirement now that the suppliers would be mad to ignore it. So, the strides that they’ve made having you know quite phenomenal in the last few years so that does definitely make it easier.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Good, yeah, that’s good. Do you find maybe if we go back to talking about your team? Do you find, I don’t want to generalise, but do you find the younger team members are more, you know, they come to Hush because it has quite good sustainability credentials?

Mandy Watkins: Definitely it’s one of the first questions that everybody asks you in an interview. Now it’s how many days do I have to work in the office, but before now it’s very, very much on peoples radar and one of the things that attracts them to the brand, for sure.

Sorcha O’Boyle: And in the next couple of years, what would you like to see changed in the fashion industry?

Rupert Youngman: I think disposable fashion is the biggest issue. The amount of oversupply of clothes that are worn once or twice and end up in landfill one way or another.

Mandy Watkins: And I think there’s also a lot of, you know, I guess, they call it greenwashing, people claiming to do stuff that’s amazing for the environment when in fact, not so much.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yes, just putting a green label on something doesn’t make it green.

Mandy Watkins: Exactly.

Rupert Youngman: I mean, so it’s business models that need to change, but yes, I think you know you’d want a more responsible approach I think across the whole industry. It definitely is changing for the better and changing quite quickly for the better but I think as we all know it’s a real race against time at the moment.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Okay, super. I’d love to talk a little bit as well about what kind of lies ahead for Hush, because I know you, kind of, probably gone beyond you know any goals or aspirations that you set for yourself back in 2003.

Mandy Watkins: Oh my God. Yeah.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, by a country mile I’d say.

Sorcha O’Boyle: So, when you look at say the next five or ten years, what is it about, with Hush that you want to achieve? What do you want to do [inaudible 00:18:35] international, are you going to go for different stores? What kind of thing are you thinking?

Rupert Youngman: Our ambitions probably start with brand don’t we?

Mandy Watkins: Yeah.

Rupert Youngman: I think we always, and from the beginning I think we were always about how we make Hush better. But of course, there is also a business element to it and that is obviously looking to see how we can expand and hopefully find new customers who will enjoy Hush. So, there are some initiatives.

Rupert Youngman: So, we’re looking, for instance we’ve we are thinking about doing retail stores, having never done retail stores, we’ll see. Because I think that is quite an interesting time in the immediate aftermath of the two-year pandemic that we’ve just been through. It’s a way of talking to your customers in a different way than you can as a digital business, so we are quite excited about the prospect of that and the other big thing for us I think is that up to now we’ve been very UK based. We’ve never marketed beyond the UK. We think the brand will resonate in other markets, so we’re looking forward to finding out.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Very exciting and what, you know, if you imagine the first Hush retail store, what does it look like in your mind’s eye?

Mandy Watkins: I love stores where you kind of go in and they’re really visually inspiring. Where you can kind of explore a bit so, and where you kind of feel like you want to buy something because you take the experience into your own home. So, I know it’s obviously about selling the clothes - but I’d love her to walk in and sort of think, “Okay, I’d really love to know what your soundtrack is and what’s the smell that I can smell? And I notice that you’ve got, you know, a movie recommendation or a book recommendation”. Things like that as well as walking out obviously because she’s found something great to wear. But that’s what I’d really like it to be.

Rupert Youngman: And I loved all the people who worked in there as well.

Mandy Watkins: Yes, absolutely.

Rupert Youngman: So, ambitions are modest.

Sorcha O’Boyle: That’s good you know it’s good to keep ambitions small. And would you, I suppose it would be a great way for you as well to kind of meet your customer face to face wouldn’t, it in a store. much opportunity to do that, do you think?

Mandy Watkins: Yes, definitely because that’s-, well at events we do. Obviously when we used to do Spirt of Christmas, I always used to work there, but a limited opportunity to meet customers. And it’s really, we did our first couple of events – when was it?

Rupert Youngman: We did, we used to do, I mean pre-pandemic of course which put an end to, or at least a hiatus on a lot of-, we used to do Pop-up stores and rather than, we used to have people from different areas of the business working in the Pop-up store. So, it was a good way I think for our customer to really meet the team. So, it was much more than a retail experience. So, you know, you might have someone from design or someone from merchandising or someone from customer services or marketing or whatever working in the Pop-up. So, we’ve done festivals and yeah, so I think we have tried to in part to meet our customers; part to provide I guess a different experience for our customers as well. I mean for instance the festivals we didn’t, the first year we didn’t take any product at all, we just thought, “Right then we’re going to have some fun and create a really cool area at this festival down in Cornwall,” and we did, and it was actually more in response to our customers who were there saying, “Oh it would be really nice if you brought some product with you.” We were much more focused on just like having an amazing time.

Mandy Watkins: We did an event recently and they said the same thing. “It would have been really great had you actually brought a bit more product with you”. But it sort of like, it was meant to be a thank you, a celebration because we turned eighteen and I sort of thought the last thing I want to do when I’m thanking you and trying to celebrate with you is to try and make you feel like you actually need to, you know, buy product. So yeah, they said “Actually that we would have quite liked to have seen it anyway Mandy”, so next time I won’t do that.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah, maybe just put some in the boot next time so you can get it out when you need too. One thing I would love to hear is because you took on investment from True in March of 2020 which obviously was an interesting time for everybody, but how has that impacted on the business? Has it changed it in ways that surprise you or what has the impact been?

Mandy Watkins: One thing we have to sit in board meetings now and there’s a whole bunch of stuff I have no idea what anyone’s talking about, so that’s been a change for me.

Rupert Youngman: I think one of the things is you said it happened in March 2020. So, it’s quite hard, the last two years have obviously been extraordinary anyway, so it’s quite hard to know what it would have been like had we not had the pandemic. Listen, I mean they’re really good guys, we have to do more, as Mandy said, there’s more board meetings, there’s more governance as, there is partly because the company’s bigger, but partly obviously because we have external shareholders now for the first time.

Mandy Watkins: And there was so little before as well in terms of [Inaudible 00:24:42]

Rupert Youngman: Our governance would be fair to say was more Mandy, myself and Kate our CEO, sort of sitting in a room and thinking, “Okay, we’ll call this a board meeting.” So, decision making was very informal whereas now it’s a little bit more formal, certainly on the bigger issues.

Sorcha O’Boyle: If you had an opportunity to sit down with a brand, you know a small brand, who was like Hush, maybe sixteen or seventeen years ago. What advice would you give them, from what you’ve learned?

Mandy Watkins: I can only think about why maybe it’s worked for us. I feel I never started with a goal of a certain amount of money, like a target in terms of I’d like to get to this turnover. It was much more about trying to create a brand that I really liked and also, I guess, a job for myself that I really liked. But I think because a particular turn-over target wasn’t the motivation. The decisions that we made weren’t necessarily motivated and I know you obviously have to make money but they weren’t motivated by trying to hit a particular financial target, there were other targets which I think possibly resonated well with the customer and maybe that’s why we’ve kind of had the success that we’ve had. Also, that we did it, we grew it really, really slowly and we were, you know, I think as a small business we were really tight with money. We didn’t spend it unless we really, really needed to. So, there was no flash office, or you know, anything like that and I think that’s probably a good discipline to have in place for a small business as well. What would you say Ru?

Rupert Youngman: I’d say, I mean one I think you’ve got to love it yourself and really believe in it and the other thing I think is really stay true to your vision because I think you’ll get a lot of advice along the way, you’ll have people who will steer you perhaps towards quick fixes and I think the brands that do well, the brands that people admire are typically the brands that have a real point of view, that do it their way and that way is quite often quite different from the way that the majority of people are doing it and as a result it’s a lot more successful because you don’t just disappear into the orthodoxy, the main stream.

Sorcha O’Boyle: Yeah. Yeah. I mean that sounds like good life advice in general not just in business. Okay, listen guys that was really, really interesting. I loved chatting to you. Thank you so much for coming on.

Mandy Watkins: Thank you very much for having us.

Sorcha O’Boyle: That was Mandy Watkins and Rupert Youngman, the driving team behind Hush. The brilliant womenswear brand that’s just gone from strength to strength. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Industry Leaders Podcast and don’t forget that you can listen back on all our previous episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or wherever you usually get your podcasts. We will be back again soon so from me Sorcha O’Boyle and the team at More2, take care and bye, bye.

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