Well Hello! TukTuk is back end we're having a ball! (2021 update)
When we decided in 2019 to bring back the TukTuk Clothing brand, we never imagined we'd be in for such a wild ride. Fast forward to 2021 and her we are, having a ball designing and tweaking the classic TukTuk look. We couldn't wait to bring back our signature range of horse riding clothes. But of course, it never occurred to us that the world would go gaga just when we were in the middle of getting everything going again.
The previous incarnation of TukTuk set the bar very high. It was always going to be a hard act to follow. But we know now for a fact that we have all of you, our gorgeous customer behind us. You must have really wanted this to happen. We've received fantastic feedback and support from you all.
So here we are again. Despite Covid, lockdowns, chaotic worldwide shipping conditions, and Equitana having been postponed twice. And it was only possible because of the fantastic support we received over the last year. Thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts!
Some things have changed (like we updated our logo and our office/design studio and showroom are now located in Beechworth), but the essential things remain the same.
Our thoughts on design are the same as they've always been. We believe that comfortable and well-considered design is everything. It should help you feel good. Doesn't matter if you're stepping out for a cuppa in town or getting on your horse. We get that our fellow horse-loving and mostly country dwelling women need sturdy gear that can withstand a bit of bush bashing or mucking out. But you want your clothes to be stylish at the same time. In particular when you're showing or competing or taking part in a clinic and also after, at the pub or around the camp fire.
We also understand that we all need to love our clothes enough to want to wear them day after day.
So, what makes us love them? The way they make us look, the way they feel next to our skin, the ease of movement they allow. It's that unique combination of functionality and form.
We still choose natural fibres where appropriate. Cotton, linen, bamboo and silk for our riding pants and shirts. Why? For comfort and breathability. Often we mix in a little bit of Spandex for that all-important stretch (think getting your foot into your stirrup with ease).
When we're designing, for us, it's not just about creating clothes for horse riders. We're thinking about what the women in our tribe, the horse-riding women who also have a busy life, would love to wear when they are doing all the other things they need to get on with. Would that pair of riding pants also look good and feel good when you're out shopping, dropping off the kids at school or meeting friends at the pub? Can you seamlessly ride your horse in them and then get on with the rest of the day?
And we still follow a straightforward principle in our designs: we build up to quality, not down to price. We will never compete on price because that means we have to compromise on quality. That is our promise.
Yes, it sounds simple, yet it's a tough gig. From first-hand experience, we know how much passion and energy is required to make loveable clothes and then make the whole thing work as a business. You may have heard that the clothing industry can be cut-throat, and the competition is fierce. It is.
Because of this, we still take complete control over everything ourselves. All our designs are created in-house, and then we take those designs straight to our select manufacturers. We choose the best materials, and we make to last. And because there are no middlemen (or middlewomen), we're able to bring you the best possible quality at competitive prices.
A shot behind the scenes in the design studio.
So this year, we've had a bit of fun and added some Western design elements to our riding pants styles 276 and 278. Like cute embroidery on the hem or on the yoke. The aim was not to copy Western riding gear but to add a bit of a 'Wenglish, English Cow Girl' sort of a vibe. Just because we can. And we think it looks adorable. And it seems that a lot of you also love these new styles.
We have some new designs in mind too. We are in the process of developing three new riding pant styles (and yes, the full suede seat is making a comeback - yay). And also as a waterproof riding poncho (think a modern take on a serape). More accessories and possibly a new take on the classic TukTuk riding vests are also on the drawing board.
And, we are in the early stages of designing a riding skirt (I never thought I'd ever say that). When we posted the first design illustrations of the riding skirt on Facebook, our followers got really excited. That gave us the confidence to pursue this idea further.
Illustration of a riding skirt
We are also still planning on releasing a collection of premium TukTuk clothing and accessories. Stay tuned on that. Exciting things are happening behind the scenes. But it will be a little while still until we can reveal more.
In the meantime, we have already released our first limited edition of exquisite silk scarves (or wild rags like our 'cow girl' customers like to call them). And, of course, they are all featuring our own hand-drawn designs. Unfortunately, many of our customers missed out on the first drop, so we are re-thinking how we will offer future editions of these scarves. Possibly by advertising new designs for pre-order before we make them. We'd like to see that everyone who wants a scarf has a chance to put in an order before we make them so as not to miss out again. More on that subject soon.
It feels great to be back. We love hearing from all our previous customers and getting to know all the new ones. The excitement and enthusiasm we are getting from you are invigorating.
If you want to know more about the going ons at TukTuk and get an idea of what happens behind the scenes, please follow our Instagram page @TukTukClothing or TukTuk Clothing on Facebook. And, of course, we always love to see photos of you in your TukTuks. Please keep posting them.
Come ride with us.
Sabine and Cornèlia
Our first photoshoot in May 2020, a couple of month before we launched the new TukTuk website/e-commerce shop.