When Rachel Rudd first moved to Devon, she had two tiny children and was keen to make the very most of life by the sea in Salcombe.
‘So I went out and bought a very expensive pair of wellies for walking on the beach and in the woods’ she remembers.
‘I had high hopes of them but they were such a disappointment’, she says.
‘My feet were cold, they were uncomfortable and then, within a ridiculously short time, they split and started to leak’, she said.
The idea of making really good, comfy wellies was an idea that, ‘Just wouldn’t go away’ Rachel explains. And so she began researching the possibility of making boots that don’t leak and yet are truly pleasant to wear all day.
‘I did so much market research’, she remembers. ‘It soon became clear that, although wellies can be seen as a bit of a fashion item these days, for the people who wear them day in, day out, they are a real problem. Horse riders and dog walkers in particular were really desperate for wellies that not only look good but were actually comfortable to wear and can be relied on not to spring a leak’.
After 12 months of extensive trials Rudds Wellies launched in October 2016 and are now worn by Zara Phillips and Deborah Meaden.
I adore mine and deem them the best wellies I’ve ever worn.
It’s a joy to interview Rachel on the blog.
Describe a typical day for you?
It depends if it’s the beginning of the week or the end. At the beginning, I have the luxury of taking the kids to school and working during school hours, planning new products and managing online orders. I tend to drop tools at 3pm but then pick up any tasks I haven’t done when the kids go to bed. However, if it’s show season we often head off to Horse shows, Game Fairs, country events etc, usually on a Thursday for a weekend where we meet lovely customers at venues across the country.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Trusting my gut and moving the family from Leeds to Salcombe in Devon. I loved Leeds but I wanted the children to grow up by the sea, and if we hadn’t moved here I doubt I would have had the idea to design and start Rudds Wellies.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Too much usually. More sets of keys than I need, a notebook for writing ideas as I go and my Channel Red Lipstick; it instantly makes me feel ready to face the day.
What are your ambitions in life?
To run a successful business, that allows me to enjoy time with my family.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
Follow your passion. Don’t worry about what other people think of you and trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully mortgage free, with a chain of Rudds stores around the UK.
What advice would you give a budding designer and entrepreneur?
If you ask your parents if they think you should leave your secure job to be an entrepreneur, you may not get the answer you hoped for. Their generation focus on security rather than following a passion and having a better work/life balance.Surround yourself with likewise talented people who have vision and dreams. They will give you the confidence to follow your path
What do you wish you’d known about motherhood before having kids?
Children don’t stop you doing things, they give you focus and purpose. I’ve had more confidence to make big life changing decisions since I’ve had them than I did before.
Finally, happiness is…
Watching my kids belly-laughing together!