Exclusive Q&A with Alice & Country!

Answering all your burning questions about the luxury country clothing brand Alice & Country…

I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with the lovely Alice and find out a little more about her luxury country clothing brand Alice & Country. Make sure you keep reading until the end for an exclusive!

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Q: What inspired you to create a range of country clothing?

A:  Alice & Country began when I realised that I had nothing to wear to Badminton horse trials. I literally stood staring into my wardrobe and having that sinking feeling that nothing I had was appropriate! There was no way I could splurge £000 for tweed that I would wear probably only a few times, and it’s hard to look like an equestrian without being head to toe in tweed!

After talking to a lot of my horsey friends, I realised I wasn’t alone in this. Being an equestrian is a lifestyle not a hobby, and it’s frustrating when you can’t dress to reflect this. After lots of researching and market research, Alice & Country was born!

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Q: What do you do when you aren’t running Alice & Country? Are you involved in any country pursuits yourself?

A: When I’m not in my studio, I enjoy cross country running with my cockerjack Lola-who you may have seen on our Instagram! I live on the edge of beautiful countryside so it’s perfect for getting some fresh air!

I am also totally horse obsessed. I have a horse on loan that I ride and look after for a friend; it’s just outside my house so every time things get stressful in the office I’m in the saddle! I’m not into competing at the moment (nerves get the better of me) but when I eventually find time to have my own, I may consider getting back into show jumping as I LOVE popping over a few jumps now and again!

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Q: Have you always wanted to start your own business?

A: Being my own boss is something I’ve always wanted to do, yes. I worked for a lady after graduating who was an entrepreneur and she was so incredibly inspiring I decided to give it a go myself! I’m very ambitious, and I dream very big which does has its downfalls, but I really do believe that we can achieve anything if we put our mind to it.

I love the aspect of determining my own success, and having the freedom of working around my social life and other commitments. Sitting in a busy office 9-5 everyday just isn’t for me; if I wanted to start my own business I had to make the leap!

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Q: What makes Alice & Country clothing so special and unique?

A: I really feel that Alice & Country is filling a big gap in the country clothing market-I like to think of it as a midway point between Joules & Holland Cooper, both equally brilliant brands, but very different sides of the spectrum.

I wanted to combine colour, catwalk fashion AND tweed to create a look that can be worn at horse events, and on the high street. I’ve maintained the quality by using British tweed, and added colour and modern trends to make it appealing to girls like us!

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Q: What can we see next from Alice & Country? 

A: I’ve got a small handful of designs in the pipeline which should be released over the next month or so! I’m also already working on designs for the Winter (I know that seems crazy)!

Plus, I’m actually about to launch a bespoke service so people can design their own capes. I’ve had loads of people comment on my original cape and so I will be offering people the opportunity to work with me, pick out their tweed and tweak the cape to look however they want! This will be announced officially on the website some point over the upcoming week so keep an eye out!

A massive thank you to Alice for providing answers to all those questions and letting us in on her next project!

Make sure you check out the Alice & Country website and you can also find Alice on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Ruth x

Livestock Event 2016: A Review

A little review of what was a very exciting Livestock Event for me, and possibly the last one ever…

5 best bits of (3)As we trundled up the motorway towards Birmingham, or rather Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, which is we were staying in a lovely AirBnb, aptly named ‘The Old Dairy’, I was excited. ‘There’s no way in hell I’ll win…’ I thought, but I was very much looking forward to going anyway. Livestock Event was one of those things that I’d always heard about, and thought ‘one day…’. Birmingham is quite far for us to go and it did take us a good four hours to get up there.

Let’s backtrack to a few weeks beforehand when I had an email from The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF). To say I was one of the finalists in their Farm Health Management Awards, with a piece of writing I had done as a part of my degree, and could I come up to the Livestock Event for the presentation?  I excitedly rang my boyfriend to see if he would come with me, and thankfully he was as keen as I was to go.

The event itself took place at the NEC, a huge venue. So its understandable to worry if the show would fill it, but it did. Rows upon rows of stands lined the hall, with machinery demonstrations outside, and calf igloos with gorgeous calves in.

We spent a lovely day there, I particularly enjoyed an inspiring talk by Women in Dairy, celebrating their first birthday, there was cake! MyMorning Routine-

We also watched the NMR Gold Cup, which was really interesting to see what the top dairy herds in the UK were achieving. A big congratulations to Simon Bugler for winning the coveted Gold Cup.MyMorning Routine- (1)

Next came time for The RABDF Farm Health Management Awards, so I nervously made my way over to the stand to meet with the other finalists and my tutor. There were two veterinary students and two agricultural students (that was me and my friend Ross), in the final. When they called Ross’ name as the runner up I physically couldn’t believe that I was the Agricultural Student Winner… even when I collected my certificate and trophy.MyMorning Routine- (2)

Needless to say I was a bit over excited when people wanted to interview me, and congratulate me. I was honestly overjoyed. I still don’t think its quite sunk in yet. How did we celebrate? Pizza Express, wine and the football. Rock and roll 😉

I want to thank everyone involved at the Livestock Event, it was a lovely day. However, in 2017 the Livestock Event is becoming the National Dairy Event, a one day event which will be in September, so I wish them every success with that. I’m hoping we might venture up!

Did you go to the Livestock Event? What did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know…

Ruth x

Twitter Focus: #AgriChatUK

Ahead of their special #AgrichatUK tonight, here is a bit about them and why you should join in…

Twitter Focus-

AgrichatUK was started back in 2011, founded by Edward Morgan, Charles Tassell,  Simon Haley and Jez Fredenburgh. Hosted by Will Wilson. It has grown significantly in the last five years, now boasting an impressive 20,369 followers and growing by the day.

It was the first agricultural based hashtag on Twitter, the premise being a place where people involved in agriculture can get together, to share ideas, discuss and debate. A place to connect with people from all different parts of the industry, from different parts of the country.

I believe it is such a brilliant idea, a place where you can come and talk with other people, all connected by the same thing, agriculture. As we all know, agriculture can be a lonely business, but with this, anyone can join in the discussion, have a chat, and it can really help. Plus, everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

From debating the hot topics in the farming world, to discussing the past, present and future of agriculture, mental health and succession. There’s a new topic every week, special guests and co-hosts, you will never be bored.

Personally I enjoy reading others opinions on the topics, as well as contributing with my own. I can truly say I learn something new every week. It really shows how agriculture is changing and growing with social media, I never would’ve thought Twitter would be such a popular place for farming!

So make sure you join in for the SPECIAL AgrichatUK TONIGHT at 8pm debating the EU Referendum! Leave me a comment and let me know if you do…

Ruth x