The Drop Meets…Gareth Davies of SCRUf
One third of the espadrille company SCRUf talks to the Drop about his experience as a student entrepreneur.
After successfully starting up his own business selling espadrilles with two friends (Jamie Wild and Nick Cox), Gareth Davies talks to The Drop about his experience, tips and his future plans.
A self-professed “laid back brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously” SCRUf is doing well for itself in Exeter and is on a mission this summer to get even bigger – so if you have ever thought of yourself as a budding entrepreneur, have a read and see how someone else has gone about it…
BS: Hi Gareth, congrats on your success so far! Where did the company start off from originally then?
GD: Well, Jamie, Nick and I were having lunch one day after a night out and we all wanted to make some money. We starting thinking about how a clothing brand which was affordable for students would be a cool idea and it all came on from there really.
BS: How did you decide on the name “SCRUf”?
GS: It came from a lot of brainstorming and random ideas; Jamie has a big head of scruffy hair and so that inspired us a bit as well!
BS: What was the first thing you did?
GS: We decided on the type of product we wanted to launch, in our case espadrilles, and then went on this big supplier’s site that I would recommend called Ali Baba’s and spoke to a few manufacturers in China, got a sample made up.
BS: Apart from using suppliers such as Ali Baba’s, have you got any other tips for students looking to do the same?
GS: If you’ve got a good idea and you’re passionate about it then go for it, you just need to put the time and effort in to it to make it worthwhile. Time management is also important; as you have to learn to balance everything else you do such as sport, socials and uni work. Also make sure you enjoy what you are doing -that way it never seems like chore. Promotion is also key, we use Facebook, Twitter, videos, we’re having a promo night soon in Mosaic and also the Freshers Fair was a great opportunity for us to get our name out there so definitely take advantage of Freshers Week!
BS: Excluding yours, what business or company do you admire the most?
GD: I really like this new company called Zany Hats, which was set up by a girl from my school. She started off by knitting her own ski hats but now her company has spiralled into something much bigger and is doing really well. I also admire a company set up by James Boon called Elephant Branded which makes these really cool bags from recycled materials from Africa and Asia. I like the idea that every time you buy one of their products, money is given to those communities. People should seriously check them out!
BS: You seem keen on supporting other student businesses! What makes yours stand out though?
GD: Jamie, Nick and I are all really passionate and we don’t take ourselves too seriously; we just want to bring something different and bespoke to Exeter students. Also, we are branching out from espadrilles, we have a new range of kikoi shorts for this summer they’re made from an east African material and they’re a really new idea.
BS: How do SCRUf espadrilles differ from Toms?
GD:They are more affordable, cooler – we have a lot of good designs and we are bringing out more; it’s just a fun thing to be part of and we want to spread it as much as possible.
BS: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time, are you going to carry on with SCRUf or is it not really a long term venture?
GD: I want to carry on with SCRUf, this summer is important for us, if it goes well then hopefully it’s something we can really build on. I’m going to Spain next year but still want a big involvement., When I graduate I definitely want to take a year out and, if I can, I want to carry on with the business.
BS: You study Spanish and a few business modules; does your course help you as an entrepreneur?
GD: Well Spanish doesn’t really but if the company ever gets that big and we take it to Spain then it definitely will come in handy. However this module that I’m currently taking in the Business School called “Could you be an entrepreneur?” really helps; the lecturers know their stuff and give good advice.
BS: And now, Timepiece or Mosaic?
GD: Timepiece every time.
BS: Night in or night out?
GD: Night out, although a night in is good every so often.
BS: Bolt time?
GD: Is this going on the Drop?…4 and a half seconds
BS: Lemmy or Bop?
BS: Gandy’s or Firehouse?
BS: Football or Rugby?
BS: Skiing or beach holiday?
GD: That’s tough, but it will have to be beach!
BS: Describe yourself in three words.
GD:Just say yes.
SCRUf has recently launched its new website, check them out on www.scrufwear.co.uk and spread the word!
Also make sure you head down to Mosaic on Monday 26th for SCRUf promotional night!