If I had £1 for every time someone suggested I should make some products in pink I would have broken even by now! My response is that the muklet brand is authentic Americana, which doesn’t generally involve pink in the palette!
I spoke to a lovely brand management consultant recently at a networking meeting. She was admiring my wire basket of muklet wares I'd taken along, and said she'd spotted it from across the room. She said she had instantly understood what my brand was about. This comment had made me a very happy camper that night, and I responded by telling her that I hoped that was one of my USP’s as a Mompreneur. Having designed for well known Fashion brands I was accustomed to honing products that fitted with the companies’ DNA.
In interviews I always talk about how I think I ‘found’ myself as a designer when I worked at Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren was the first ‘brand’ I’d designed for having previously spent the first couple of years since graduating working for retailers where the collections I'd worked on followed trends and consumer spending habits. If you are going to learn the art of working for a brand, Ralph Lauren is THE place to do it. You may not realise, but many talented well known names have ‘graduated’ from the hallowed wood panelled walls of RL HQ; Vera Wang, John Varvatos, Tory Burch, Thom Browne and of course more recently Muklet!
I was very privileged in my time there to work with some very talented people and was mentored by some patient and encouraging work peers. It was only really after I left and moved back to England that I realised the years spent observing the Creative Director editing piles of hundreds of tweed swatches, agonising over the metal finish and level of polish on a button with the trim Director, and fine tuning the shape of a flower in a delicate French Chantilly lace with the development team had forever trained my eye to expect excellence and be able to curate fabrics, trims, colours and shapes appropriate for a brand.
Of course I was spoilt as a Designer whilst I worked there as I had access to the very best materials, trims and resources. But it's a discipline I have carried with me to use wherever I have worked no matter the size of the company or the level of the market.
So I am also able to use this skill as I grow the muklet brand. Whilst it's of course important to listen to your customer, it is equally important to stay true to the DNA of the brand, so your audience is clear what you stand for. I believe the true sign of a good brand is being able to pick up a product, and without looking at the label you would be able to tell where it is from.
In this present day of launching a brand, the DNA runs deeper that just the product, it carries through everything, your photography, how your brand personality is expressed through your marketing, your packaging, all your social media channels. I sometimes wonder how different it would be for Mr Lauren to launch in 2015?! Would he be Instagramming selfies with Kanye on the ‘FROW’, tweeting topical fashion tit bits #sartorial #anglophile instead of walking the New York streets with his case of ties?! Probably not, but it's fun to speculate!
So, back to the ‘Pink’ issue. I personally also have a hard time with Pink. Regular readers will know I have 2 boys. We haven't ruled out perhaps maybe just having one more at some point (although running your own business doesn't leave much time or energy right now!) But, just in case, and kinda just for fun I have a Pinterest board entitled ‘if I had a girl’! It doesn't feature a lot of pink, and I know I know actually having a girl it is virtually impossible not have have some element of that rosy hue in their wardrobe. On the flip side I have an overbearing % of blue in the boys wardrobe, so am a bit of a blue pot calling the kettle pink! So, yes I do want to cater to girls, but I don’t think it totally fits with the brand as it is right now.
That said I swallowed my pink pride for a promotion we ran recently with some of my Curated by Crafted peers (link).
It was also for a good cause, supporting Breast Cancer Care (link). £1 for every product featured in the promo sold during that time would be donated to Breast Cancer Care. Now that's a Pink something I could willingly get behind
But, that's all the Pink you’re getting.. For now! I will endeavour to continue to appeal to our female muklet pals… There's even gonna be some ‘Princess’ type wares… But in a Vintage cool muklet kid style.. So watch this space!