Danielle Rattray studied graphic design and had a successful career in that field for 8 years, but when the pipe dreams of choosing fashion as a career became an obsession, she ended up spending every minute of the day plotting how to make it happen to end up in a career that she is truly passionate about. However her time spent as graphic designer was not wasted, as it heavily influenced the way that she approached textile design.
What were the first steps into the formation of your brand?
I was handed down scarves from my late Grandmother that are so special to me. Some of the scarves are 30/40 years old – real vintage Burberry! They are timeless keepsake that will always be part of my wardrobe, and far more than ‘just a scarf’. This was the inspiration behind creating my own scarf collection.
I love tartan and I think it has such a powerful look with depth because of the history and heritage behind it which is what inspired me to create tartan designs. But for it to be truly unique to me I was compelled to explore how I to push it forward. The use of color is unexpected, eschewing the traditional notions of uniformity while the design still retains the essence of what makes this classic textile such a well-loved and recognisable statement.
With Danielle Rattray scarves launching this year, my hopes and dreams for the brand are big. I’m excited for the things to come and to see my customer base grow going into a new collection for 2015.
What have been the highest and lowest points on your journey so far?
The low points have been trying to learn the business side of things. Issues have come up that I never imagined would and that can really slow the progress of the brand. It is so easy to get knocked down, when things go wrong I really have to try and turn a negative into a positive to strengthen the brand going forward. It is all a massive learning curve.
The high points have been getting stockists. Getting great feedback and people buying my scarves are such a boost and reason to keep going.
What is your greatest fear?
Ending up as a Graphic Designer – that would mean my business didn’t work out.
How would you describe your customer base?
The type of woman I see wearing my scarves is creative, fashion savvy, has strong individual style, seeks out high quality rather than disposable fashion and is interested in the story behind a brand. I think my age range is so varied. My scarves can be worn in so many ways that they can appeal to a young, edgy girl or to someone with a classic mature style.
What are the morals you run your brand by?
Quality comes first.
Who is your mentor?
My Dad has been a great mentor for me starting a business. If I am ever unclear on anything in the business and need to make a decision, he always gives great advice to guide me.
What inspires you?
I always feel inspired when I see other independent brands that are doing really well. From a business perspective it really adds to my ambition on how I can move forward with my products.
In particular I love what Emma J Shipley is doing with her business. Seeing her and other brands have success just makes me crave the success more for myself.
What building holds the most sentiment for you?
It has to be my house. It is full of the things I love... my 2 year old boy who is the best, my husband, my 2 pugs that follow my every move and my work studio.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Grandmothers locket.
What motto do you live your life by?
Do what makes you happy.
How do you keep your body and mind healthy?
Well at the moment I am almost 6 months pregnant so I am trying to be healthy, but if the baby wants chocolate, the baby gets chocolate... and lots of it! .
For the mind, I have to make sure all my work is up-to-date or I will wake up in the night worrying. I am a worrier.
Where do you see the brand in five years?
I really want to have a great range of stockists in the UK and Internationally. I hope to expand with a mens scarf range too.
What drew you to Wolf & Badger?
Their support of new designers and how exceptionally curated the stores are.
What one thing would make your life better?
Mmm, the power of persuasion maybe! haha