Introduce us to you and your brand!
I’m Bryan and am originally from Dublin, I was living in London and working as a flight attendant when I met my boyfriend and business partner, Michael who was visiting London at the time. We fell in love and I decided to make the move up to Glasgow, where he was living. Whilst in London I joined my housemate who was hosting a hand embroidery workshop and really enjoyed it. I started making gifts for friends and family who recommended I tried to set up an Etsy shop. Michael is a graphic designer so has a great eye for how to turn the funny phrases I was thinking of into designs. After a while I was able to leave my job, which was quite detrimental to my mental health, to pursue Doon Duh Vail full time making apparel with our hand embroidered designs.
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
We have came a long way from when we started! The design placement is now a lot better, the garment quality has much improved and our abilities are constantly getting excelling.
What are your main inspirations?
I am definitely inspired a lot by pop culture, however, we try to be extremely conscious as we do not want to produce a garment which will be single use. We have chosen the best quality garments we have come across in order to make pieces that our customers will have for many years to come. Everything we make aims to be tongue in cheek and make you chuckle, with the added edge of being hand made and completely unique.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people
Either the 'Well it wiz fuckn wan ae yiz' which obviously reminds people of the viral video of the girl and her sister going to sing a Cher Lloyd song and their mum coming in asking which of them didn't flush the toilet. Our 'Pints?' is also very popular, as it is simple and to the point that the customer wearing it will probably be looking to get a pint.
What piece are you the proudest of?
Our 'Pints?' design is probably the design I am most proud of as it is a big favourite for many people and has led to us getting a big job with Guinness as their PR team loved it.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Self doubt. Thankfully I have a partner who I can bounce ideas off, but even still, it is very easy to doubt your own ideas as something you think will be well received. I try not to be too hard on myself about this as it's easy to get down and frustrated when being in a self doubting frame of mind.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
Following on from the question about the design I'm proudest of, not long after releasing our 'Pints?' t-shirts and sweaters, we were approached by Guinness to create some PR merchandise. We did a few runs of this, created few designs and some custom boxes to put the sweaters and some cans of Guinness to gift to different high profile / influential people. This was an amazing opportunity and a huge achievement which I'm so proud of! We now also have stock on sale in the Guinness Open Gate Brewery next door to the Guinness Storehouse.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
We were contacted after being seen at a market in Glasgow in 2018 to see if we would be interested in applying for a space and after learning more about SDX we were surprised we hadn't heard of it before and applied right way. It's an amazing place to reach an audience which is difficult to reach otherwise.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
Our business has always been online retail until we joined SDX, and the postage delays that we faced due to the pandemic caused us a lot of issues with unhappy customers waiting weeks on orders and also delays from our suppliers which added to the length of delays.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
Going forward with SDX we hope to see continued, sustained growth and a further expansion of brand awareness in Glasgow.
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Don't expect it to happen too quickly! If you love doing what you do, you should spend as much time as you can building a 'portfolio' and constantly improving your craft. This will mean when you are getting closer to leaving your job to pursue full time, you have a bank of material to push on your website / social media / anywhere you think your ideal customer will see it.
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
Just start! The worst thing that could happen is you spend loads of your spare time doing something you really enjoy.