The Mum Club Featuring Scamp & Dude
Scamp and Dude was founded and created by PR beauty Guru Jo. After suffering a brain hemorrhage that changed her life and meant she would have to leave her children for long periods of time whilst in hospital. This is what inspired Jo to create a brand that made children feel more secure when away from their loved ones. We absolutely love the fun colourful prints and super soft material and story behind this brand.
MY NAME IS… Jo Tutchener-Sharp
MY BRAND IS… Scamp & Dude, a childrens (and grown ups) clothing and accessories brand. Providing children with an extra sense of security via a team of special superheroes.
I LIVE IN… Crouch End, North London
I FEEL MOST AT HOME… in my garden on a sunny day, grass covered in blankets, cushions, wigwams and tents. Garden full of all my favourite people sipping prosecco and watching the kids play.
I AM A MUM AND…wife, daughter, sister, friend, aunty, business owner, fashion designer, den maker, lego builder, queen of the juggle, plate spinner (smashing lots)
THINGS THAT KEEP US AWAKE AT NIGHT…my kids coming into the bedroom, I usually end up with at least one of them sprawled all over me by the morning.
WHEN WE GREW UP WE WANTED TO BE…When I was really small I wanted to be Peter Pan (I was obsessed with fairies and never wanted to grow up) then when I got over the Peter Pan thing, I wanted to be a children’s TV presenter. Equally as ridiculous to be honest.
I DECIDED TO START OUR BUSINESS BECAUSE…I went through a life changing event, I suffered a brain haemorhage and had to face brain surgery when my children were 3 and 1yrs old. The experience really put everything into perspective. The feeling I had when forced to be away from my children when in hospital was so overwhelming I knew I wanted to do something to help kids and parents deal with separation anxiety.
MY FIRST STEPS TAKEN TO START THE BRAND WERE...I first came up with the idea of the Superhero Sleep Buddies when I was in hospital recovering from brain surgery. I was so happy to be alive and was focusing on the children and how they were feeling without me. They had never been away from me for more than a night before so having to spend 10 days apart was so hard for us all. I spent time thinking about what I wished had been available to help my kids and came up with the idea behind out special little Superhero Sleep Buddies. They are animal shaped cushions, one Superhero dinosaur and one Superhero bunny. They sit on the bed watching over kids as they sleep. A pocket on the back holds a photograph of whomever they want to hold close. For every one sold we donate another to a child who has lost a parent or who is struggling with a serious illness themselves. I then decided I wanted to create a clothing line to accompany the collection which would give kids Superhero confidence on the move. Whevever they were without their parents they would feel confident knowing they had a Superhero watching over them. Each garment comes with its own Superpower Button which when pressed gives them their own burst of chosen Superpower. Our swing tags give them a list of potential Superpowers to choose from such as ‘expert fairy finder’ or ‘crazy cool shapeshifter’
THE HARDEST PART OF MOTHERHOOD IS…the sleep deprivation, they don’t care what you have going on the next day, if they can’t sleep then neither can you. I’ve been up all night with the boys when I have a shoot the next day and there is nothing you can do, you just have to take your eye bags along to the shoot and hope they have a really good concealer. It’s the main thing that puts me off having a third child, I can’t go back to having no sleep.
THIS KEEPS US SANE... my boys keep me sane (my children and my husband). They also drive me insane at times, but I love how real they keep everything. I remember talking to them in the bath the night before Scamp & Dude launched into Liberty and Sonny just said ‘but I don’t want you to sell my clothes mummy I would be cold.’ They are so good at making sure you keep it real. And a glass of wine in the evening, wine definitely keeps me sane too.
WE COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT (PHYSICAL OBJECT)... I wish I could say something magical, like a beautiful water colour I watched an artist paint by the side of a chateau in Provence, but the truth is, it’s my iphone. Sad but true.
MY BIGGEST RISK... selling my shares in my PR company I had founded 8 years previously. I was so torn as to whether it was the right thing to do. I had just had my second child and it was an extremely stressful process. I still wasn’t sure it was the right decision when I signed on the dotted line. But it definitely was.
MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT...Getting Scamp & Dude into Liberty was a huge achievement. We didn’t even have any samples to show them at the time but they loved the story behind the collection and the designs and took us on. It was an amazing moment. Also Vogue calling us their ‘favourite new kids clothing line’ and The Observer quoting Scamp & Dude as a trend to watch in kidswearalong with Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney and Dolce & Gabbana. Three definite pinch yourself moments.
OUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE…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. And 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.
AND LASTLY A PERSONAL ONE! WE WOULD HAVE DONE THIS DIFFERENTLY IN OUR LABOURS…I had c-sections both times because of various complications with the boys. I had been disappointed about this and the fact that I never experienced child birth until I found out this actually saved my life. I was told after my brain surgery that if I had given birth naturally my blood tumour would have burst under the pressure and killed me. So I wouldn’t actually change anything about my labour.