IMAGE Boutique Awards: Indigo & Cloth on being woke to e-commerce and working with others

Now in its tenth year of business, boutique-cum-café-cum-agency, Indigo & Cloth, has become a much-loved reserve for fashion, street culture and art in the heart of old Temple Bar. Ahead of our Boutique Awards, we talked to founder and creative director Garrett Pitcher on what he would have done differently (if anything).

If you could start again, what would you do differently and why?

No regrets. We started at the beginning of the recession which ultimately made us the business we are today. We knew at that time E-Commerce would be important and I wish we hadn’t changed our tills and website as much as we did. To be fair, social media and Shopify were not what they are today.

What has been your career highlight to date? 

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In fashion terms, my involvement in THREAD magazine through the early years are very fond memories. During the recession, in particular, it was a very positive thing to be involved in and meant a lot to people. I particularly remember the launches in Block T and Gallery of Photography where hundreds turned up.

Do you use social media for your business? What importance does social media play for modern entrepreneurs?  

Yes. It's very important both as a brand builder and driver of sales. We do a lot of added value through our socials such as fashion shoots, events and graphic design. We also push new stock and have recently added shoppable posts which meant meeting a lot of criteria.

Mug 12oz - black/white splatter, €12 at indigoandcloth.com

Mug 12oz - black/white splatter, €12 at indigoandcloth.com

What has been your biggest challenge?

The recession put us back at least 5 years growth. There was no way around it. Today E-commerce is crucial in getting sales off the island and we are growing that aspect week-to-week.

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How do you think you got to where you are today?

Perseverance. It’s an innate skill which can be good and bad. Being entrepreneurial too, we haven’t followed any particular formula and have always been open to trying new things. That said, I’m behind where I want to be.

I’m a desk jockey. I like to be doing ‘things’ and wasn’t really made for answering calls and emails all day!

What is your boutique's USP?

I guess we don’t call ourselves a boutique. I don’t know of another business that has a café, menswear and a creative agency under one roof. We also publish magazines and create products under multiple brands. Being multi-faceted keeps us energised and relevant.

Do you think there's a good offering of menswear boutiques in Ireland?

No. I think most people will agree on this point. There are so many great brands out there and not enough good menswear stores to represent them all. It would be nice to be a customer of some but, generally, I find myself getting excited at what I see abroad rather than at a local level*.

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Watchman jacket in olive, €220 at indigoandcloth.com

Watchman jacket in olive, €220 at indigoandcloth.com

How important is supporting local to you and your business?

It has always been at the forefront of our thinking. We are very proud of who and what we are. I believe we undervalue ‘Irishness’ in general, and have always wanted to represent the best of what Ireland produces whether that's through the store, cafe or the THREAD magazine.

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What does your daily routine look like?

I don’t have a set routine. Generally, though, I clear emails after breakfast and then drop my daughter off at creche and get to the office for 9.30am. I don’t work on the floor these days but would cover some lunches. My daily work is on the agency side and I generally have one or two large projects which I’m focused on. Beyond that, it’s the usual meetings and bits of travel.

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What’s your favourite part of the job?

The diversity. I can dip in and out of different aspects of the company. I’m usually on client work but can jump in on buying, merchandising or something coffee-related to take a mental break.

What’s your least favourite part of the job?

I’m a desk jockey. I like to be doing ‘things’ and wasn’t really made for answering calls and emails all day!

CLICK HERE to vote for Indigo & Cloth and all our other nominees

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