We continue to celebrate Women. We caught up with Jo Tutchener-Sharp, the inspiring founder of the British purpose-led, feel-good fashion brand, Scamp & Dude.
Jo shared about a near-death experience and how it inspired her to launch her brand. She also discusses the importance of giving back and helping people struggling.
Famous for your signature leopard and lightning bolt print and vibrant designs, tell us more about the Scamp & Dude brand.
Scamp & Dude is a purposeful led feel good fashion brand.
We aim to bring joy to wardrobes through mood-boosting colours, vibrant prints and flattering fits. We are also about helping people having a really hard time and this sits at the very heart of Scamp & Dude.
When someone purchases one of our Super Scarves, we donate another to a woman with cancer.
Likewise, for each Superhero Sleep Buddy sold, another is donated to a child who has lost a parent or is seriously ill themselves.
So far, we’ve been able to donate almost a million pounds worth of products to people having a really hard time, including over 15,000 Super Scarves, and 5,500 Superhero Sleep Buddies.
What journey led you to create the label?
In 2015 I found myself in a hospital with an acute headache only to discover I’d suffered a brain haemorrhage and had a lump on my brain. My life changed forever at this moment.
Facing death had a huge effect on me personally, as well as being terrified of leaving my boys (who were then just 1 and 3) without a mum, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I hadn’t done enough good in my life.
I’d had a great time working in PR, living it up in London but I couldn’t help asking myself what difference I’d made and how many people had I helped along the way.
I didn’t realise this was so important to me until it was almost too late. When I made it through my surgery I was determined to create a brand that fills people with superpowers and courage when they need it most.
You coin the phrase ‘feel good fashion’, what does this mean to you?
To me ‘Feel Good Fashion’ means clothes that make you feel, as well as look good. From our vibrant colours and designs, which are an instant mood booster, to our flattering fits, to our charity products that help so many people.
Also, our amazing community (‘the Duders’) who look out for each other, are always kind and have each other’s back. They’ve all discovered new friends and support networks via Scamp & Dude and that is what feeling good is all about.
Are there any wellbeing practices which you have found help you feel more balanced when navigating running a business whilst having a family?
I am not great when it comes to wellbeing which is something I really want to change. The older I get the more I suffer from fatigue, so I am on the lookout for something to help with that. I do make sure I soak in a bath several times a week which is my moment just for me, where I lock the door, listen to a podcast and relax. It works wonders for me. I also do Yoga once a week which is my attempt at starting to look after myself a little more.
Tell us about your #SuperScarfMission.
I designed our Super Scarves with the aim of wrapping women with cancer in a superpower-infused hug, letting them know we are thinking of them and ‘we’ve got your back’ as they go through a really challenging time.
For every one sold we donate another to women with cancer and Last year we were able to donate 10,000 via our hospital partners.
For 2023 my ambition is to donate a Super Scarf to every single woman starting chemotherapy in the UK, which sadly stands at around 60,000. We will be launching new scarf designs each month and I know they will bring so much joy to both the customers that buy them and the patients who receive them.
What is your go-to fashion piece to help put yourself in a good mood?
I always reach for one of our dresses when I want to feel good. They are so flattering, and comfortable and the joyful colours and prints never fail to make me smile.
Who would you say to be your greatest female idol?
My mum. The kindest person I know.
In business, I like and admire Marcia Kilgore. She has founded so many businesses and is so full of life and creativity.
This International Women’s Day, I will be celebrating by….
Launching a new super scarf (black with peach leopard and lightning bolt with neon pom poms), allowing us to donate even more to women starting chemotherapy.