10:20PM, Thursday 14 July 2022
The founder and CEO of an independent fashion brand has spoken of the ‘surreal’ atmosphere at the launch of her new flagship store in Marlow.
Cookham Dean resident Jo Tutchener-Sharp said people were already queueing round the block on Saturday morning, ahead of the opening of the new flagship Scamp & Dude store at 9.30am.
Jo founded the brand, which had previously been mainly online, in 2016 after being separated from her children for a lengthy period while undergoing life-saving brain surgery.
As a result, Jo was driven to make a difference and constantly give back.
As well as the clothes, Jo explained that charity is at the heart of everything they do, and the brand has several products which raise money for various charities.
Some of these include the Superhero Sleep Buddies – for every one sold, one is donated to children who have either lost a parent or who are seriously ill themselves and so far, more than 5,000 of these have been donated.
Choose Love Swag Bags are also raising funds, with £10 from each one sold going towards helping Ukraine and those displaced by war.
She said: “I really felt like I hadn’t made enough of a difference with my life, I hadn’t done enough good, so I thought if I make it through my brain surgery and I’m given a second chance, I want to make sure that I make a difference this time with whatever I do.”
Scamp & Dude initially started with kidswear and charitable products, with the ethos of filling children with superpowers when they are apart from their loved ones.
Since its launch in 2016, the brand has grown quickly and boasts 269,000 followers on Instagram and 9,000 followers on its Scamp & Duders Facebook group.
Jo explained that the womenswear department has grown the most, with the division making up more than 90 per cent of all brand sales.
Describing the atmosphere on Saturday, Jo added: “It was unbelievable, there was hundreds of people queuing before we opened.
“We had people from Sheffield, we had people who had travelled from Nottingham. People had travelled from all round the country to come to the store and it was absolutely mind-boggling.”
Jo added: “It’s obviously gone down very well, and we’re just really thrilled to join the High Street.
“We’ve really grown on the website and then now this is a chance for all of our community to come and actually try the whole collection on.”
Buckinghamshire Mayor Cllr Richard Scott attended the launch party on Friday evening, wishing Scamp & Dude well and welcoming to the High Street.
On their upcoming and future plans, Jo said there was much in the pipeline, including putting on regular events at the shop for the community in a bid to bring people together following the pandemic.
The shop is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am and 4.30pm on Sundays.
Drivers are being warned to expect severe delays following the earlier closure of the M25 in both directions between Heathrow and the M4 exit.