Interviews
Jo Sindle & Kyle Stewart
Co-founders of Goodhood
Goodhood

You are celebrating 10 years of Goodhood this year. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced over the past decade? What have been your biggest learnings?

Jo: There are way too many challenges to put down on one answer—it has been one long 10-year challenge! Tough but rewarding and to be honest I'm pretty bored without a challenge. Unfortunately. I seem to be hard wired to make my life hard. Kyle: Certainly establishing the business was significant so many aspects were challenging but I think ultimately creating something on exceptionally limited resources was one of the biggest learnings that has stood us in good stead.

What do you think about the current state of the fashion industry and what do you see as the biggest issues it faces today?

Jo: I've got no significant thoughts on it to be honest, I don't follow fashion as such or the industry, I exist in a total bubble and I like it that way.

Kyle: It’s very noisy. Like lots of other industries, it seems to be an echo chamber of ideas and people. I’m not sure I can comment on the issues it faces. I’d say credibility and by that I mean we think of ourselves as involved in the clothing business not the fashion business. Personally, I see clothes as a tool and there is a fundamental functional requirement. Can you describe the community Goodhood has helped to build around the neighbourhood?

Jo: I think Goodhood has become a real destination for likeminded people in London. When we started this community was small and niche; avid shoppers would come and find us on our back street to see gear you couldn't find elsewhere in London. These people were like us and they were mostly from our neighbourhood. Over the years this community has grown with us.

Kyle: Like-minds that care about the provenance of culture.

With backgrounds in different disciplines of design, how has your artistic training affected the curation of the store and it's visuals?

Jo: I guess because we don't come from a retail background our approach was never conventional or from a sales perspective. As designers we are product people, we are drawn to good design, amazing product, interesting environments, the language of graphics and branding. We were only interested in the product being great, the communication being right and the environment being exactly the way we wanted it. That came first and still does—the commercial aspect follows. I guess our past experiences before the store made this approach instinctive to what we did and we followed it through to the store. We approach our store like a brand in the same way we would have done designing graphics or clothes for a brand.

Do you have any expectations for where the industry is heading?

Kyle: I don’t think the industry is on a knife edge. I think with the increasing use of digital technology the store experience will become more and more important. I think the experience of the store offers the opportunity to develop culture and I think places where people can come together to share ideas will be increasingly be important.

Jo: I have thoughts and opinions but not expectations. I try to go through life and work without expectations, only having them for practical purposes. That way things are less contrived or disappointing and there's room for surprises to happen.

What has been your highlight for 2017?

Jo: Personally having my second child.

Professionally, our Vans collab — the product, the concept, the film was something I was really happy with and that's significant because we don't often congratulate ourselves ever. We are normally much more like, “look at what we did, that's not good enough, let's do something better!”

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the store, and personally?

Jo: The store: short-term to get through Xmas, a recent move, a new warehouse, and the rest of the year smoothly and on target. Long-term to open new stores. I’m never more content than with a major project on the go.

Personally: to live life more in the moment, meditate daily, to learn more and educate myself, stay away from social media, and to have a laugh above all else.

 
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