Lazy Oaf is one of our favourite clients who is anything but lazy or oafish. Launched more than 15 years ago by Gemma Shiel, Lazy Oaf makes colourful clothes and accessories decorated with playful graphic prints. We were pleased to catch up at a meeting this morning. It’s been quite a journey. Today Lazy Oaf has a permanent store off Carnaby Street and has created collections with among others Disney Garfield and Looney Tunes.
Gemma’s success is down in large part to her vision in deciding where Lazy Oaf would stand in the market and her sheer grit in seeing things through. Modest to a tea, Gemma does however admit that it’s not easy building a business and that she has relied a lot on her instinct for important decisions. She is a true innovator who sees hurdles as opportunities to better the business. Her methods seem to work. The next phase of Lazy Oaf is likely to be quite exciting because Gemma has great plans and long term ambition for building the brand. This Christmas, Lazy Oaf have just put on an exhibit ‘Lazy Land’ at the Protein Studios in New Inn Yard, Shoreditch to celebrate their first 15 years and share some of the things Gemma has learnt over the years running the business.
On the product side they have teamed up with innovative East London Lingerie Brand Miss Crofton to offer an exclusive Lazy Oaf design which combines Miss Crofton’s soft shapes and delicate fabrics with Lazy Oaf’s Winter heart motif. Gemma is one impressive lady. She set up her business after she graduated with a degree in textiles but with little training in business. From the start Gemma has taken on board the intellectual property issues faced by the business and has appreciated the importance of investing when necessary to protect the brand since we started work together in 2001. Most importantly Gemma has always been great fun to work maybe because she stays true to the Lazy Oaf slogan of ’KEEPING IT WEIRD SINCE 2001’.
By Margaret Briffa
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