Behind the Brand | Rock & Ruddle
Tell us about you and your brand, how long has your brand been around, is this your first Top Drawer?
Rock & Ruddle was founded in 2012 by myself and my business partner Alexandra Rock. We sell premium, bright and beautiful hairbrushes and combs. We have exhibited at Top Drawer a number of times before and met buyers through it who have been completely pivotal to our business. In fact we can trace almost all of our success back to one meeting at Top Drawer!
How did you start your brand?
Alexandra and I met when we worked together at L’Oréal. When Alexandra lost her beloved Mason Pearson hairbrush and wanted to replace it with something of equal quality but with more colour or design she found that such a thing did not exist. She asked me if I thought creating these ourselves would be a good idea….I did and it has been! We have met so many inspirational and helpful people along the way, many at Top Drawer. We have found the exhibitors at Top Drawer to be a community within themselves and it is wonderful to share our ups and downs, find solutions to problems and ideas for moving business forward from other brand owners.
What has been your biggest highlight whilst creating and building your brand? Why is it you love what you do?
There have been so many that it is almost impossible to choose a single stand out highlight although if I really had to I would go back to the day that we set up our first stand at Spirit of Christmas. This was our very first day of selling the hairbrushes and when our very first customer approached our little stand and exclaimed how much she loved them and purchased one for each of her four daughters it was an absolute rush! We knew then that there was a market for good quality hairbrushes that look after your hair, don’t pull when detangling and are a treat to own because they are beautiful in their own right.
Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out?
I would tell myself to be more confident, to take more risks, that everyone makes mistakes and that if you look back and are not a bit embarrassed by what you did in those early days then you have not learned enough!
What can you tell us about your new collections/ranges that you launched at Top Drawer?
As it is our 10th Anniversary we launched a special limited edition called the Endangered Animals Collection. From the very beginning Rock & Ruddle designs have focused on the natural world and animals in particular and so we thought this was a perfect opportunity to really go for some of our favourites! We will be donating 10% of our proceeds from this collection to Lion Landscapes, a charity involved with saving the habitats of endangered species.
Do you have any personal favourites from your new collection?
I love them all but the giraffe is by absolute favourite! For me she is definitely a she with those beautiful eyes and fabulous ears. I love the way she looks straight at us with calm and dignity.
How was Top Drawer, what was your highlight?
We had a great show this year, we met so many retailers that we had not met before and opened a lot of new accounts. I ran out of order forms before lunch on the first day which was a great problem to have! One highlight for me was how much everyone loved our new collection of designs The Endangered Animals Collection which launches officially this week on our website, those designs were our bestsellers at the show.