RJ: Yeah, these are Friday's sales. These people are living life on the edge right now trying to get things before Christmas.
DB: How important is that ethical approach, having integrity in your brand, doing for others and not just yourself. It's very transparent and it's something not everyone does so it sets you apart a bit, I feel.
RJ: It's part of the miminalism that the brand represents because you only need a certain amount of stuff and then your life becomes cluttered. I don't need so much stuff, that's not what I'm about. I'm about living as minimally as possible so that I can release. I don't know if I should be saying this but I'd love to give way more than I do because once you have enough then why not give to others? That's what the "Current" is, and I think other people want that release too. We experienced that on the Black Friday weekend. Instead of giving our customers discount that weekend, for two days, we gave 30% instead of 10% to charity and sales were incredible!
Peoples actually want a way to give but they don't know how to sometimes. I have found it really hard to choose charities as well...
DB: Who is your current charity?
Storehouse. I kept it local for Christmas and it was a bit of a risk because I want to extend into the UK market and how would that UK customer feel about giving to a local Belfast charity? I just went with it and they're having this night where they give hampers out to local families living on the poverty line. They're like normal families in normal houses and you wouldn't even think it would be their situation so it's really cool to be involved with.
DB: Yeah that is really cool seeing the more unseen side of it and helping that way. And what's that process like, choosing charities?
RJ: It's just that part of business where you go with your gut and one conversation leads to another and then all of a sudden, you've got a day to decide. I like to put something in every order, whether it's stickers or a small pamphlet that connects the customer to the charity. I'd like to be a lot more responsible with it in terms of delivering the highest impact. I don't know yet. I'm just finding my way as a go with that.
DB: I suppose that vaguely leads into immediate and long terms goals for Lines & Current? Do you have the next charity you have lined up?
RJ: I would love to know because January is very soon and I don't know. I have a lot of ideas with working with anti trafficking campaigns overseas, at home and possibly something to do with the Syrian crisis. I partnered with No More Traffik in March and April and that was really cool. I really think that's important.
I have a product idea to work with an Indian tailoring centre. I'm going to produce a design for them to make this product for me and then sell it here and it funds their women. So with me buying a piece from them, it gives them work and then if I can make it work, release some of the profit? We'll see.
DB: In terms of product, are there new lines on the way?
RJ: I 'd love to but I know that the collection I have really works here. It's a strong collection so because the rest of the U.K. is still untapped, it probably makes more sense from a business perspective to just bring what I have to the unreached in the U.K. and Europe. I can't help but want to produce more because I'm creative and I have so many ideas. I really want to do a bag, I really want to do t shirts but I know that the brand is still in its infancy so it'd be wiser to go that way.
I definitely am bringing out a new jewellery collection. I have around 4 or 5 designs underway. What I do is wear the samples myself and make changes after I've worn them for a few months so there's a few going on. I'm not going to have a hugely cluttered store so once other items have sold through that will make way for new stuff.
DB: So where the best place to interact with the brand?