Boodle, the fun, Eco-friendly brand for the whole family
Boodle was founded in 2010 by Beth Buss. Having studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent, she has been designing and screen printing ever since. Always a keen animal lover she uses animals as inspiration for her work, making people smile with her humanized interpretations of animals that people can relate to. Other inspirations are nature and adventure which are inspired by her travels around the UK and beyond! In our conversation below, learn more about the creative and screen printing process with the founder of Boodle.
Why did you name your brand Boodle?
Boodle was my nickname when I was younger, and it was a bonus that it rhymes with doodle!
Describe a typical Boodle wearer.
Boodle seems to appeal to a wide range of customers, but I would say most are in their 30’s with an eye for design and the environment.
When did the Boodle brand start? What’s the story behind it?
I started making products straight after university, I did a short business course through Nottingham Trent university and just carried on making, it seemed natural to me just to keep designing. I worked part-time and built up the brand slowly, always being inspired by animals and the outdoors. I just designed things that I loved and other people seemed to like them too! I have now been working on Boodle full-time for about three years.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
For me it was what I got the best response to, I tried out many different products but the T-shirts and kids/baby clothing really took off. I think the simple illustrations work well on printed T-shirts, and customers appreciate the fact that I use high quality organic cotton and Eco-friendly inks.
You design for women, men, children and babies! Which audience group do you find most difficult to design for?
I love designing for every age, it is challenging sometimes to get it right, I would say kids are probably the hardest as they start having an opinion on what they wear so they either love the designs or not! I love hearing peoples feedback though, it is always valuable to hear what people think of the designs and quality of the clothing.
What’s your favorite design of your collection right now and why?
I have really enjoyed designing the baby leggings as I do not have to worry about limiting the amount of colours I use (because these are digitally printed), its fun being able to play around with bright colours and repeat pattern. I love learning new skills and expanding on the ones I have, which is continuous when you run your own business!
If you could describe your brand as a song or movie title, what would it be?
It would probably be something like ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’. A quirky make-believe world where foxes can talk!
All your designs are hand screen printed, tell me about how this process works.
I share a studio with some fellow makers in Bristol and we share some screen printing equipment. I start by drawing and designing by hand, once the illustrations are scanned in I use the program Illustrator to play around with lay outs and colours. I then print out the design onto acetate and burn the image onto a screen using UV light. Once the screen is ready I set it up on my printing press and start printing! I use water based Eco-friendly inks (Permaset) and pull the inks through the image with a squeegee to create the image. Once the image has been printed on the T-shirt I cure the ink with heat to ensure that the ink does not wash off. I really enjoy the process of seeing the image being transferred to the garment, a very satisfying process when everything goes right!
Why is it important for you to only use sustainable materials?
I have always been interested in using sustainable materials and I feel like now more than ever it is important to use materials that have a low impact on the environment. I try to avoid plastics in every part of my business and like to make high quality garments that will last for a long time, and when they are ready to break down, they will leave no harmful trace. There is so much waste in the world that I feel it is important to design things that last. Using these materials mean that my profits may be less than other companies but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What has been the most rewarding moment of your professional career so far?
Probably taking the leap to working on Boodle full-time, It took me a while to completely leave my job but it was so worth it, the more time you have, the more you can build your brand and business.
Where do you see your brand going in the next 5-10 years?
I would love to have my own studio with the latest screen printing equipment, it would also be great to take the leap and employ somebody else to help build the business more.
Want to find out more about Boodle? Check out their website