Barfoot + Duggan are makers of products for people with a taste for eccentric design so typically we are sold on this brand already here at House of Coco.
Their Made in England collection features beautiful, playful designs for the home and are sure to make your crib feel special. Here, we go behind the brand to find out more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Barfoot + Duggan opened for business last year because we wanted to work on something totally new together and noticed that there’s room for way more fun in contemporary design for the home. We also believe there’s a need for more manufacture in the UK and wanted to do something about it.
Whats your background?
We met in Bristol 6 years ago and hit it off as collaborators straight away. Our humour, happiness and work ethic seem to be the things that unite us. Together, we set up a charitable company called Light Box The Happiness Project. It combines art and positive psychology to promote mental wellbeing, using public workshops held in empty shop space. We raised over £250,000 to fund this as a free service for thousands of people over the last five years and are now in the process of training others to set up and deliver more Happiness Projects.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Between the two of us we get it all done – for now. Barfoot’s role is being the candle and Duggan is the wick.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Do more market research. Enthusiasm and optimism alone do not a successful business make! This quickly became apparent, to our initial dismay.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Dividing our time between the two companies Light Box and Barfoot + Duggan. Getting Light Box ready to hand on to others whilst getting Barfoot + Duggan off the ground has been no mean feat. It’s a good thing we have a lot of energy.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
Barfoot can beatbox. (badly!)
2015 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
To the moon! Figuratively speaking.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The month that our online sales finally took off, and we broke through the barrier of selling only to family and friends. We could have jumped for joy when those order confirmation emails starting popping up in the inbox.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
New York has the zing and the ping that matches our velocity.
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Papaya Gold Paw Paw lip balm, eyelash curlers and some SPF.
Confidence in who you are and how you wear it.
Best thing about London to you?
The Parks! Having a sneaky swim in the Serpentine with white fluff blowing off the poplar trees on a blazing hot day gets quite close to bliss.
Statement shoe or statement bag?
Neither – keep it classic, we reckon.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
Black Levis– classic, comfy and look good with everything plus you can ride your bike in them.
Favourite love song?
Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club
Best place for a coffee?
In bed, with a good book on Sunday morning.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Every ‘No’ is another step to a ‘Yes’ – A pearl of wisdom from Nigel, Barfoot’s dad.
Surreptitiously drawing silly pictures of strangers without their prior permission.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In springtime Istanbul, 24 hours would be enough time to visit a hammam for a lovely, sweaty steam bath, to enjoy the tulips, nose around the ancient architecture, then have a leisurely seafood lunch on the Galata bridge, followed by a spree in the Grand Bazaar, topped off with a sunset boat trip down the Bospherous.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
We reckon being alert to opportunities and seizing them will work better for us than drawing up an overly rigid business plan. We’ve got targets but also flexibility and we need to stick to our strengths.
Where can people find out more?