Have you heard about Rudds Wellies? This brand was been developed by Rachel Rudd to fill a gap in the market. Sounds mad – I mean, wellies have been around for years and years. But Rudds are different. They have a range of features and attributes that Rachel developed as a response to the feedback she gathered from her market research… and she did a LOT of market research before she started work on the product. Anyway, that’s enough from me… over to Rachel…
Tell us about you and your background
Yorkshire born Lass, schooled in Northumberland, degreed in Manchester, nurturing the family and welly empire in Devon. As you can imagine my accent is screwed.
What made you want to start a business?
I studied Business Management at GCSE, then at University and managed other peoples businesses successfully for years, however I never had an idea compelling enough to make the jump. That was until I bought a pair of expensive rubbish wellington boots that made me think I could do better.
How is your business different?
Too many businesses create a product and then try and find customers to sell it to. We identified our customers – frequent welly wearers, and then research and develop products to suit them. You would not believe how many calves and feet I have measured.
What makes your products special?
They are truly designed by the customer – after months of research, the priority was to create a non-split welly that would resist urine and manure. I never had any intention of designing a wellington boot outsole that was safe to ride in until I had so many customer telling me that’s what they also needed.
Lifestyle-led Wellies crafted to work (hope I get away with that)
Do you have a motto or ethos?
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming — Persistance is key, although I do have a memory like Dory too.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring business owner, what would it be?
Do your research – online, surveys, on the street. It costs nothing but will stop you making costly mistakes.
One thing that helps you run Rudds Wellies more effectively
My husband – I couldn’t do it without the support of my husband. Hes gives me confidence when I wobble. Although Survey Monkey is a close 2nd ☺ It was a vital free tool when I started out.
Best thing about running a business?
You are the master of your own destiny. I work harder than ever but my work life balance is in my control. I can spend long days at shows but I love seeing customers faces when they try on the boots and realise how comfortable they are. Then I have weeks where I work at home and I can do the school run every day.
Worst thing about running a business?
The obvious cashflow saga. Especially if you have a product based business. You outlay on bespoke product months before you sell so it’s a constant juggling act.
Top business blog you follow
Jeff Walker – Product Launch Formula, I didn’t know anything about the importance of collating your own email lists until I watched his videos. Don’t just rely on social followers, look what happened to MySpace
Top business book you’ve read
Martha’s Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow or Manage a Business. The key one that stuck with me was to always deliver a quality product.
One thing we might not know about you
I got into the final 30 of The Apprentice a few years ago, not with the welly idea, and thankfully not onto the screen. It definitely opened my eyes to the crazy world of entertainment.
Top business achievement
Launching Rudds Wellies at HOYS last year will always be special
Where can people follow you or your business online