Meet Caroline White - Creative Director at SukiShufu
Last year, I attended an event with The Local Skill where host Shay Kostabi and instructor Sydney Benner wore this amazing activewear unlike any I'd seen before. This fabulousness was a line made in England called SukiShufu that was on display at the event!
A few months later, I was invited to a SukiShufu event at Equinox in West Hollywood where I had the opportunity to meet Caroline White, Creative Director of the line. Though FITOutfit had just launched a few months earlier, Caroline was gracious enough to chat with me and share a little background on SukiShufu so I was really excited when the opportunity to interview Caroline presented itself.
Caroline is sharing her BEHIND the BRAND story of how a lack of activewear options birthed the goodness known as SukiShufu!
Name & Role
Creative Director at SukiShufu
What is SukiShufu and what inspired you to create this line?
We are a sports luxe activewear label designed and made in England. A love of fashion, shopping, working out and a lack of choice.
What are the origins of the name SukiShufu?
SukiShufu is pronounced ‘sue-key-shoo-foo’. As well as being our company name, it’s also in a way my alias I guess. Suki is Japanese for ‘I like’ or ‘favourite’ and can also be a feminine name, while shufu can mean ‘mistress of the house’ or “ home maker” which was in essence my role post my banking days. We chose ‘SukiShufu’ to express independence and style – traits shared by those who appreciate what we do.
What's a day in the life like for you at Suki Shufu?
In no particular order: e-mails, calls, fabrics, research, design, bills, admin, workout, interviews, hang with my puppy, husband, friends, family.....bed!
What's been your biggest successes thus far?
Launching my very first activewear collection "Suki Silverback" an exclusive line for Harrods of London. Being interviewed and featured in Vogue was also a major high point.
Conversely, biggest failures?
Lets call them lessons shall we? Not all "advice" is useful or necessarily correct, filter it accordingly. If you are using consultants make sure they are very well qualified and actually know what they are talking about and establish what value will they add - too many people charging over the odds for mediocre results - beware.
Top three things you wish you knew when you first started
You will need a lot more money than you think - triple that budget! It will be a total rollercoaster of emotions crushing lows and a pit of self doubt and then euphoric highs and success.
Top three tools/apps/technology you can't live without
My iPhone, my super cool Master and Dynamic headphones so I can tune out music is essential and the British Airways app as I'm forever checking in or out.
Who's your professional crush & why?
My friend Fiona Barratt Campbell a bespoke furniture and interior designer in London. THE most hardworking woman I know, her worth ethic is brutal and she manages to juggle it all with 3 young children in tow. She's untouchable.
Since launching SukiShufu what's been the biggest surprise or something you didn't expect?
When I launched the brand name back in 2009 (intentionally on the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers epic fail) we generated press in every form of media - One evening I was interviewed live on sky news, on CNN, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph that was crazy and the best free PR for a new startup I could have wished for and suprising!
What advice would you give to aspiring activewear designers or fitness entrepreneurs?
Be unique. Create something that is not already being produced in the market, where is the fun/creativity or skill in that? Don't simply replicate, create and of course RESEARCH - You can never do too much I promise you.
SukiShufu has had great exposure with major publications such as Vogue and is available at popular online sites such as Carbon 38, so what's next?
So much! We have expanded as a business with three new team members joining last month, we are just about to launch our new website and we are sampling our next collection. We are growing rapidly both online and at wholesale locally and internationally so its crazy but hey, I like crazy.
Caroline can be found on all social media at @sukishufu!
What's your favorite SukiShufu look? Share in the comments below!