MERCER7 MEETS… JO TUTCHENER SHARP

Jo is the founder of super cool unisex childrenswear and interiors brand Scamp & Dude, that launched exclusively in Liberty London in November 2016. In this interview, Jo chats to us about Scamp & Dude’s Superhero inspired collection, her dream collaborations and how a life threatening experience has changed her life. 

Before launching Scamp & Dude, she was a founder of one of the leading beauty PR agencies in the U.K., Beauty Seen PR. Working with Tom Ford, Matthew Williamson, Dolce & Gabbana, Vogue, Estee Lauder, Topshop and NARS. She is also a founder of The BRITs SPA. Creativity, uniqueness, and entrepreneurship are in Jo’s DNA.

We are in love with Scamp & Dude collection, and the incredible story behind the brand will move and inspire you. To say we are impressed, is an understatement!

Please follow Jo’s journey and visit www.scampanddude.com

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT LED YOU TO LAUNCH SCAMP & DUDE?

I came up with the idea for Scamp & Dude when in hospital recovering from brain surgery, I missed my children so much I wished there was something I could have given them to make them feel more secure when we were apart. This is when I came up with the idea for the Superhero Sleep Buddy (which would have been a great comfort to them while I was in hospital). They are shaped cushion comforters, a Superhero dinosaur and bunny who sit on the bed watching over kids keeping them safe while they sleep. A little pocket on the back holds a photograph of someone they want to keep close, which means they are great for parents who have to travel with work. We donate one Superhero Sleep Buddy to a vulnerable child for every one sold. We are donating to children via some amazing charities including Grief Encounter (who work with children who have lost a parent) Don’t Forget the Kids (who work with kids whose parents have cancer) and Great Ormond Street Hospital where we are gifting to the children who are in hospital themselves.

“From something dark came something light.” -Jo Tutchener Sharp

Our slogan is ‘a superhero has my back’ and the aim is to make children feel like someone is watching over them at all times, even when they are apart from their loved ones. Separation anxiety is so hard on kids. I also wanted to create a clothing line to give kids Superhero confidence on the move. The collection is Superhero inspired with a family of cute Superhero characters and superpower infused prints (even our unique leopard print has tiny lightning bolt flashes as part of the design). All of the tops have ‘a superhero has my back’ written along the inner neck and plain Sweatshirts and T-Shirts have the slogan written on the back. All garments have an embroidered neon pink lightning bolt which acts as a ‘Superpower Button’ to give kids a burst of their chosen superpower when they need it.

YOU’VE GOT A VERY IMPRESSIVE CAREER WORKING WITH TOM FORD, VOGUE AND MATTHEW WILLIAMSON, TO NAME A FEW. YOU FOUNDED THE LEADING BEAUTY PR AGENCY, BEAUTY SEEN PR, BEFORE SETTING UP THE BRITs SPA AS WELL. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO GO FROM WORKING IN PUBLIC RELATIONS TO DESIGN?

I started my career in fashion and studied fashion at university so it isn’t that strange a move. I am in my element when designing, it is one of the things I love most. My background in PR and building brands has helped massively when it comes to creating a brand myself. And of course my network has been a great help in spreading the Scamp & Dude word.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?

I would love to do a shoot with Hooligans Magazine, it’s such a cool publication, I absolutely love their style. Collaboration wise, I have been contacted by an exciting brand re a collaboration already so watch this space. I love the Adidas and Mini Rodini collaboration, I wish I had thought of that. So good. I have a few ideas for future exciting collaborations but am going to keep them under my hat for now!

hat you are doing, then you aren’t pushing yourself enough. A little fear in business is good. Keep learning, you feel so alive when you’re learning something new.

Be kind, be loyal. Ditch the ego and be a nice person. It isn’t about how important or powerful you are (or think you are), what ridiculous title you give yourself or how many followers you have; it’s about how you behave, what difference you are making and how you make others feel. Don’t be a knob.

“Help others, share the knowledge and take pleasure from building people up, not tearing them down.” – Jo Tutchener Sharp

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

I would have to say launching Scamp & Dude into Liberty. Seeing my clothes in Little Liberty was just mind blowing. The press reaction and support and the customer feedback has all been so overwhelming and makes me so proud to have created something that people love. Vogue calling Scamp & Dude their ‘favourite new kids clothing range’ was quite a moment too!

YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY VERY BUSY, JUGGLING MOTHERHOOD AND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. WHAT IS THE SECRET TO WORK/LIFE BALANCE?

I am still trying to find this balance at the moment. I am working flat out, packing orders until the early hours and up with the kids at 5.30am. I am feeling pretty exhausted at the moment. So I will get back to you on that one once the Christmas rush and launch madness has calmed down and I can find some kind of balance.

ANY ADVISE FOR THE UP-AND-COMING FASHION DESIGNERS OR CREATIVE ENTREPRENEURS OUT THERE?

Trust your instinct and follow your heart. When I created the line I had commissioned various illustrators to create my Superheroes and designed a collection including them all. I then asked a selection of friends to tell me which characters they loved. Some were 100% hits and some were like marmite, some people loved them and some people didn’t get it. Balloon Man was one of the marmite characters. My husband and a couple of my close friends weren’t sure about him. But I trusted my gut (I LOVE Balloon Man!) and kept him in the launch collection and our Navy Balloon Man Sweatshirt is the best seller in Liberty! Sometimes you just know and you need the confidence to trust that feeling.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

Happy customers, happy stockists and feeling content inside. I knew I wanted to do something with more depth and meaning than my previous

career. Having had a brush with death, I had a real need to do good and help people so it was essential to me to create a brand that gave something back. The feedback I get from customers saying how much they love the brand and what it stands for and knowing how much our Superhero Sleep Buddies will help kids who are having a hard time is what it is all about for me.

FAVOURITE QUOTE OR WORDS YOU LIVE BY?

Life is short – live it. Have adventures, push yourself, take risks, work hard and have no regrets. Nothing comes to those who sit on their arse waiting for it to happen, go out and get it. Wear your best pants, burn your candles and drink your best wine. You never know what is around the corner so make each day count.

If you are not a little scared by what you are doing, then you aren’t pushing yourself enough. A little fear in business is good. Keep learning, you feel so alive when you’re learning something new.

Be kind, be loyal. Ditch the ego and be a nice person. It isn’t about how important or powerful you are (or think you are), what ridiculous title you give yourself or how many followers you have; it’s about how you behave, what difference you are making and how you make others feel. Don’t be a knob.

Help others, share the knowledge and take pleasure from building people up, not tearing them down.

WEBSITE: WWW.SCAMPANDDUDE.COM
INSTAGRAM: @SCAMPANDDUDE
JO’S PERSONAL: @JOTUTCHENERSHARP

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