Lucy & Yak began life down under in New Zealand, after Chris and I decided to quit our jobs and travel across the world. Here, we spent hours sewing on the beach, making tobacco pouches from old clothes which we sold to travellers. They loved them and we still get messages from people saying they met someone with one of our pouches.
After traveling for a few years, we eventually went back to the UK. Here, we bought a van and we named it ‘Yak’. We lived in the Yak and sold vintage clothing from it to get by, which is when we realised we had an eye for fashion. So one rainy night, we decided our next trip would be to search for a manufacturer to create the designs we had in our heads…dungarees!
We visited China, Thailand and India in search of a small business to work with. We wanted to do things ethically, and help a family that really needed it. We eventually found the guy we were looking for in Rajasthan, India.
After searching for a long time, and working with a lot of people, we met Ismail. He was the right guy, we just knew it, we connected instantly and his values were our own. He already looked after the two tailors that he worked with, they were his friends. We have both never met anyone we trusted so much. He has become a really good friend of ours, Chris & Ismail are like brothers!
So together we made 30 pairs of dungas. I modelled, Chris was the photographer and we took the photos in 45 degree Indian heat. We then sent the clothes back to my mum, who we couldn’t have done this without, and uploaded them to Depop. They were a sell out in hours, so we made 100 more dungarees and the same happened, this was when we decided to put the logo on the front pocket…if you have one of our first ever pairs you’ll know!
From here, we woke up one morning and thought, lets make a website. So we went to an Internet cafe in Rishkiesh and made our website. It’s not the easiest place to do it as the internet connection isn’t always the best, but we did it! And Lucy & Yak was born…
Once our website was live, we flew back to the UK to fully establish the company Lucy & Yak. We began working out of my parents’ basement - they have been such a great help in all of this, thank you Julie and Pete! Our team in the beginning was me, Chris, my mum and my friend, Jenna, and we quickly moved to a small warehouse which we have already outgrown.
We have 13 employees in the UK now and we have pledged to always pay the ‘Living wage’. It’s so important that all of our staff are treated with respect, no matter how big or small their role is. Whatever country they are in, they will always be looked after.
The journey is by no means over, we have done so much in this first year, but we have so much more to do and can’t wait to see where this next year takes us! We hope you will continue to follow our journey.