This spring we are delighted to launch a limited edition collection of superpower-infused products with award-winning fashion brand Scamp & Dude. Here we find out more about founder Jo Tutchener Sharp, the highs and lows of launching your own business and why she decided Cowshed was the perfect partner.
'A couple of years ago my life took an unexpected turn when I suffered a brain haemmorhage. I had to face surgery and the fact I might leave my boys, who were then just one and three years old, without a mummy. It was missing my boys in hospital while recovering from surgery that inspired the creation of Scamp & Dude.
When I was facing brain surgery and the fact I may die, I found myself asking myself if I was proud of how I’d lived my life, if I had done enough to help other people. I decided that running a PR agency had been a lot of fun, but I had definitely not helped enough people and made a difference, so I made a promise to myself that if I made it through surgery, I would do more good.
I came up with the idea for Superhero Sleep Buddies when missing my kids in hospital and wishing I could have given them a Superhero to watch over them while we were apart. The Superhero Sleep Buddies have a pocket on the back to hold a photograph of whomever they want to hold close. We donate one to a child who has lost a parent or is seriously ill themselves for every one sold. This is at the heart of Scamp & Dude.'
'My slogan ‘a Superhero has my back’ reminds kids that someone is watching over them at all times even when they can’t see you, and our Superpower Button gives kids (and grown ups!) a burst of superpowers when they need it most. We started as a kids brand, but now we have as many styles for adults as we do kids, it seems us grown ups want a Superhero to have our backs too!
We have also just launched Super Scarves (fronted by Billie Piper) where we donate one of our leopard and lightning bolt scarves to a woman in need for every one sold. This may be a woman with cancer or a mother of a very sick child; we want to make sure those women know that we’ve got their back.'
'Setting up your own business is not for the faint hearted, you will work harder than ever before and you’ll never be able to switch off. The lowest point was struggling to find a manufacturer, but as soon as I had met with Liberty and they had told me they loved my brand and wanted to stock it all, I knew I was onto something.
My experience in PR was the best training for starting my own brand, I spent almost 20 years working with brands advising them on so much more than just PR. I would work on their whole brand identity, NPD, PR, marketing and social media so when it came to launching my own brand, it all came very naturally. Also the network I’d built during my career has been integral too, never underestimate the power of your network!'
'Our supporters are so loyal and vocal and there’s so much support for small businesses on Instagram, especially businesses with a heart who are helping others. The Instagram community has always been there for me when I need it and I am so unbelievably grateful.
We are expanding our baby collection this year, as well as launching a beach collection and a sleepwear line and there may be some handbags on the horizon too… and dresses (yes for adults and kids!) and possibly some trainers later in the year. It is set to be another busy year. I’ll be covering myself in the Superpower Spray daily!'
'I’ve always loved Cowshed. The brand is very special to me for a few reasons, it was one of my first clients when I launched my PR agency 11 years ago and I ended up working with the brand for 8 years. I fell in love with everything about Cowshed, its ethos, heritage, the spas (especially Babington House which is one of my favourite places in the world!) and products, so Cowshed seemed like the obvious partner to create a Superpower Spray with. It was on my to do list to reach out to the team at Cowshed, but before I had chance, an email popped up in my inbox from the MD asking for a meeting. It was meant to be!
When I launched Scamp & Dude back in 2016, I had already had the idea of creating a Superpower Spray, something parents could go to whenever their child was having a wobble. Maybe they are scared to go to nursery, don’t want to go to school, are having worries or nightmares. I wanted to create a calming mist that could be used as a sleep pillow spray but also as a Superpower Spray to give them a boost and fill them with superpowers when they need it most.'
'The candles came about because one thing I’ve learnt from running Scamp & Dude is that us grown ups want to be filled with superpowers too and we definitely want a Superhero to have our back. I wanted to create two candles, one to give courage and the other good luck, but both to give people a boost.
I rarely have time to myself, being a mother of two small boys and running my own business, but my beloved bath time is a moment just for me when I can relax, light a candle, listen to a podcast and be alone for an hour!'