Friday, 24 March 2017

Behind the LABEL

Susan Gaston - White Dove & Wonder

How did White Dove & Wonder come about?
My family business was the shoe trade in Northampton and having spent my childhood and adolescence in and out of some of the country's most iconic shoe factories and subsequently working in the business I had a love for all things shoe related. After raising my family I was looking to start a small business and serendipitously bumped into an old friend in the trade. I asked him if he had any old shoe lasts as I would like to buy a few. The next day he delivered a thousand and so we decided to reclaim and remake them in order to preserve an important symbol of our country's industrial heritage

Where do you find or look for inspiration?
My husband was a professional photographer, so has a wonderful eye and very creative view of things. Additionally we are inspired by nature and indeed the lasts themselves, the patina, the individual nicks and imperfections that tell of a long history.

How would you describe your style?
My personal style is quite plain, I love texture, rich but muted colours and beautiful craftsmanship. I believe in paying for quality and then seeing the piece become ever more beautiful as it ages, the antithesis of the current disposable culture! It fills me with joy to see a young man wearing a beautifully aged pair of Trickers brogues inherited from his grandfather. I embrace the quirky and that I guess shows in our last designs.

To what do you attribute your success?
I think my passion for the shoe lasts and their preservation which is probably something my father Bud instilled in me, but also the fact that Jimmy (my husband) and I have totally opposite skill sets. He is artistic, creative and practical and I am more business minded. It enables us to do most things between us thus lowering overheads and ensuring that we keep control of the business and its creative direction.

Do you have any pets?
Yes we most certainly do, 6 dogs, 5 cats and 2 doves! Pearl our smallest Jack Russell is the face of the White Dove and Wonder. Utter madness in London, but we both love animals and Jimmy always say he doesn't play golf!

Do you have a signature food dish?
Yes, anything cake or pudding related. I make a mean sticky toffee pudding and again Jimmy and I have the opposite cooking skills, he does savory, I do sweet.

Name 3 items that you always carry with you?
My iphone, a mac 'Angel' lipstick and a tan mulberry purse bought in New York 11 years ago, which is aging to perfection.

Reading a book or listening to music?
I'm currently reading Lionel Blue's Best of Blue and Disclaimer by Renee Knight simultaneously. Listening to Bruno Mars XX1Vk Magic and Laura Izibor Let The Truth Be Told.

What's next for White Dove & Wonder?
We are hoping to successfully introduce White Dove and Wonder to Scotland and the north of England this year and collaborate with great brands like Powder Grey.

White Dove and Wonder Ltd.,

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