Who let the Hounds Out?

If you’re in the streetwear biz, then watch out – there are some Loose Hounds on the run, with a nose for business and an inspiring determination to shake up the signature fashion scene. Or more precisely, skate up the scene.

Starting a new business can be intimidating and overwhelming and to succeed it helps a lot to have big dreams, passion running deep in your veins and plenty of resilience to get back up after every knock down and knock back.

In their inspiring business start-up journey, skateboarding enthusiasts, Lulu Cuneo and Hudson Thomas, are exhibiting those traits and more, as they carve out their niche in the competitive streetwear market with their label – Loose Hounds.

Working hard for your own goals

Lulu, 25 and Hudson 30, had worked in a range of industries, but no matter how hard they worked they were always facilitating someone else’s dream.

“We had no business education but we didn’t want to continue working to achieve other people’s goals and leave our own behind,” Lulu Cuneo said. “The idea of having our own business empire, no matter how big or small, where we could be the shot-callers in our future, became increasingly appealing.”

Aside from being married to each other, Lulu and Hudson also shared a love for skateboarding and fashion. The seed was planted and they embarked on a journey to create their own streetwear label.

Learning along the curve

‘Skateboarding teaches the lessons of life better than anything else….sometimes things come naturally, easily. Sometimes it takes just one try, other times you fall. So you get up and try again, and again and again. You push harder; you make adjustments and give yourself time to breathe. You acknowledge the risks, but set the fear aside. Because you know how the reward will feel, you know that it’s worth it.’ – Tine Winkler

With this quote spurring them on, Lulu and Hudson launched their label, Loose Hounds, in 2016 and started on a steep learning curve.

“We couldn’t just quit our jobs, and we didn’t have the money to set up a factory, employ staff or aimlessly buy a warehouse of stock,” Lulu explained. “We’re working class people in a competitive and very expensive city so we knew this new business wasn’t going to happen overnight or without a lot of hard work.”

They carried out their labour of love and passion in their own time, working late into the nights, weekends and days off.

“One of the initial challenges was locking down a name, spending months searching if names were already trademarked and learning what it takes to set up a company, the trademark process and plenty of other lessons until we finalised our business structure,” Lulu said.

DIY product development

The duo took a very strategic approach to their product line. Realising they didn’t want to be left with excess stock for sizes that didn’t sell, they needed their products to completely sell out to generate revenue for the next product. To avoid sizing issues, their first product was one-sized hats and to save on costs, they made their initial products themselves, ironing on prints, learning and doing the embroidery with the help of YouTube tutorials and software design programs

“We made hundreds of mistakes along the way but learning from them every time,” Lulu admits.

Initially, all sales were from word of mouth and social media as they utilised their local Bondi connections in the skate and fashion blogger community. Their first batch of hats sold out in 16 days, providing the much needed revenue to expand into shirts and jumpers.

Strategic marketing

Loose Hounds’ marketing strategy targets the skateboarding community with limited edition runs to create a sense of urgency to purchase and resulting in sell-outs with the impressive sales figures of over 10,000 units in their first 6 months.

While marketing and initial sales through social media channels put the name and brand out there in the international market, the line is now sold through their our own website and selected shops with the ultimate goal to distribute through their own stores worldwide.

“We’re catering to the street, stylish working class people like ourselves, so we would like to stick with small boutique skate shops both in Australia and globally but never selling out to the big dogs,” Lulu said. “We know where the big money is, but our passion is for the under dogs such as ourselves.”

On the run

Loose Hounds is definitely on the run, with big plans to follow other skater-owned brands and expand their range to include premium streetwear, durable for skating.

“Eventually we would love to design and distribute skate decks but we’re not at that level yet,” Lulu concludes.

Not yet, but for this inspiring duo, surely it is just a matter of when.

Contact Loose Hounds: lmbg2016@gmail.com www.loosehounds.bigcartel.com

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Lyndall Lee Arnold
Differentiated by a rare combination of natural creative talent and business sensibility, Lyndall is an experienced writer who effectively puts together words to explain, sell, train, excite, inspire, motivate, explain, entertain and communicate. Writing for the page, the screen, the mic, she infuses every project with her insight, instinct and initiative. As a small business owner/operator, she identifies closely with Smarter Macarthur readers and as editor, explores issues and starts conversations beyond the expected. Delivering valuable and useful resources and information in every issue to build our readers’ knowledge base and increase their business productivity. Based on a strong foundation as a creative spirit, writer, producer and project manager, Lyndall has developed a wealth of experience and expertise across the full spectrum of marketing and communications services in an even broader range of industry sectors. Her contemporary, conversational writing style is perfect for websites and marketing campaigns, but she excels at varying her style to suit the product and the audience - from quirky and creative, to ‘straight to the point’ business through to classic and formal speak for grants and awards. In an interesting and varied career, Lyndall has proven her capability to transform business ideas and aspirations into practical, workable reality with her common sense approach and conscientious attitude.