Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week, we chat with Lucy Brassington, fashion designer and founder of her small biz, Custard Cloth.
How did Custard Cloth come to life?
Custard Cloth was born in the pandemic in early 2020, shortly after losing my job. I had been an accessories designer my whole career and I knew it would be extremely difficult to get a new job in this climate – it was the push I needed to start my own brand. I wanted the creative freedom and to design accessories that felt unique and unlike accessories you can get from high street brands, so I turned to my sewing machine and made it happen. In terms of the name, ‘custard’ was a childhood nickname given to me by my brother, I just loved eating it out of the carton!
What three words describe Custard Cloth?
Colourful, happy, contemporary.
Who is Custard Cloth for?
Custard Cloth is meant to bring you joy, so for anyone wanting to feel a bit extra and add something colourful or patterned to their look – be it an oversized scrunchie or a brightly patterned tote bag. It’s also for any girl or woman who likes to shop slow fashion, everything is handmade by myself and made-to-order.
Tell me about your design and making process.
When starting a new collection, I research patterns and colours, then draw up new designs on the computer – my prints tend to be colourful, graphic, eye-catching and trend-lend. Next I’ll send off for fabric swatches to be printed. I’ll make any adjustments before ordering the bulk fabric (usually getting my Mum’s opinion also) and then make them into samples to be photographed.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Never the same, although I will always be sewing. I keep up with my social media channels, make, pack and post orders, do business training, website maintenance, product photography, forward-planning – I’m a one woman band so basically everything! Plus, many cups of tea and cat cuddles.
What’s the best thing about running your own business? And the most challenging?
Designing products I love and having amazing customers love them too. The most challenging thing is being you against you and working out everything on your own, that’s why building a network in your field is so important.
The best moment so far?
Gaining my first few stockists in the US and UK, that was a pretty great moment.
Which piece is your favourite?
Can I cheat and say two? My oversized scrunchies are a firm favourite but I’m also quite proud of my new Pixel Cross Body Bag.
Anything exciting in the pipeline?
So much! I’m working on a collaboration with a fellow small-biz owner Charlie of Astral Tides. The collaboration will aim to raise money for stroke research as my partner Jamie passed away aged 31 from a stroke; the theme is celestial. I’m also bringing out some beautiful new prints – scallops and swirls!