To celebrate International Women's Day this year, we wanted you to get to know our amazing all-female team a little bit better! We are incredibly proud that Hiro + Wolf is made up of many inspiring women, and that our company has strong feminist values. Without further ado, keep reading to learn more about the women behind the brand!
Tell us a little bit about your role at Hiro + Wolf
Amy: When I’m not taking care of Hiro’s every need (massaging his paws, hand feeding him roast chicken etc.) my job is to design our colourful prints, develop new products and head up the creative direction for our marketing and website.
Bee: As one of the Directors, I oversee the smooth running of the company dealing with the finances, merchandising the shop and working closely with our wholesale customers. Amy and myself work closely on deciding what prints we are doing and I also source fabric from Africa for our products. I also love getting creative with our in-store displays and chatting with other dog and cat owners here and at the events I organise for our brand.
Bea: I’ve had a few hats from organising H+Ws New York Launch a while ago, creating content and creative direction on our Christmas shoot but I mostly work with our amazing wholesale community on business development and looking after them.
Leona: I've been working for Hiro + Wolf for 2 years now! You'll find me in our beautiful Margate store a couple of days a week helping out our lovely customers. I also write many of the journal posts (like this one) that you will find on our website.
This years theme is #ChooseToChallenge, what is 1 challenge you have overcome recently?
Amy: There were two very sudden deaths in my immediate family at the end of 2019. I certainly wouldn’t say I’ve overcome either of them but learning to live with the pain, finding a new reason to get up every day and learning to be more open with people about what I am going through and ask for help is a challenge I feel proud to have risen to in the past 15 months.
Bee: Cold Water Swimming! I am lucky enough to live next to the sea so in September I decided to see how long I could cope with swimming in Walpole Bay - our wonderful tidal pool. It was definitely a challenge but I try go every second day before work at 8am. The coldest temperature I have ventured in was 1 degree. I try and stay in around 10 minute and swim in a costumer, booties, and a wooly hat! I have found this to be very therapeutic and the cold water has definitely helped with my back problems. I can highly recommend it!
Bea: I think Lockdown has been really tough for everyone and the challenge I’ve faced has been the impact that it’s had on my sanity which I think I’m not alone with. It’s impacted our family drastically this year so it’s been all about finding ways to stay balanced and know that we’ll be able to see family and be in a more stable environment soon!
Leona: This whole past year has been quite challenging for everyone, hasn't it?! A personal challenge I'm tackling recently is to stand up for myself more if I'm being treated unfairly, which I know a lot of women struggle with. Working with Amy and Bee for the past couple of years has really boosted my confidence and helped me to appreciate my own worth. I don't think I've overcome this challenge quite yet, but I'm working on it!
Is there a woman that you particularly admire?
Amy: A couple of years ago Bee took me on a surprise visit Charleston House, home to The Bloomsbury set. I found myself completely enthralled by the life of Vanessa Bell, she was so pioneering and head strong and led an incredibly rich, creative life that was also sadly marred by great tragedy.
Bee: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - who is the new head of the World Trade Organisation. She sits on over 20 advisory boards for NGO's. This 66 year old Nigerian power house is counted amongst the world's top 100 women.
Bea: There are loads! My mother, Olive and her sister Carol have always been inspirations for me, very different lives but each have been brilliant role models for me for very different reasons. I also have some incredible friends like Charlie Russel, an incredible ceramic artist and a mum who I respect and admire for many different reasons!
Leona: I know it is cheesy, but my mum really is someone that I look up to a lot. She has always worked so hard to give me and my sister everything we could ever want. She is funny, kind, sympathetic - but she doesn't take any nonsense! I wouldn't be who I am without her.
Name your favourite female music artist
Amy: Oh gosh, so many Dusty Springfield, Nina Simone, M.I.A, Laura Mvula, Grimes, Madeleine Peyroux, Catrin Finch to name a few!
Bee: Miriam Makeba, South African singer songwriter whose music I listened to growing up in SA and still do. She was a civil rights activist and known as Mama Africa. Her dynamic vocal range and she brought African music to a worldwide audience. “Girls are the future mothers of our society, and it is important that we focus on their well-being.”
Bea: Ohh! That is TOUGH!! It would have to be a toss up between Carole King and Nina Simone.
Leona: Dolly Parton! Not just for the fabulous outfits and the humongous hair, I also have her to thank for funding the coronavirus vaccine!
Who is your favourite female fictional character?
Amy: I’m a big Studio Ghibli fan and all of their beautifully animated films have incredible female leads like Lastelle in Nausicaa Valley of the Wind who’s passion for the planet and all living creatures I really admire or Arrietty who is so tough despite her tiny size.
Bee: Vianne Rocher, the main character of Joanne Harris's novel Chocolat. She was creative, strong and a little bit bonkers!
Bea: Ellen Ripley!
Leona: As an English Literature student this is a tough one! I would have to say Tess Durbeyfield (or Tess of the d'Urbervilles.) Though she faces many challenges, she always has a strong sense of self that she fiercely tries to protect. She is passionate and works hard to protect her family.
Tell us about your favourite inspirational female leader!
Bee: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She sadly passed last year and was a US Supreme Court Justice whom was fuelled by her own experiences of sexism, she used her profession as a lawyer to advocate for gender equality in the United States.
Bea: Oh wow - another tough one - too many to choose! Right now I have to say that I’m really impressed with Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand - I love her decisiveness which is matched by her empathy. She seems to me to be a modern, communicative and inclusive leader and as a working mother I think she has an amazingly well balanced and human view of what leadership really means.
Leona: I think I would have to say Angel Davis. She is most well-known for her association with the Black Panthers and her human rights activism. She's also a fierce animal rights activist too, so I really admire her.
Do you enjoy working with an all-female team?
Amy: Yes absolutely! We are all really close and it feels like a little family. Although I don’t think that this is solely down to us being an all-female team as we love having men around too and regularly work with people like Ben Broomfield on our photoshoots who fits right in with our crazy little family!!
Bee: Most definitely - we all give each other space when we need it and have mad moments dancing around the office to Madonna. We support each other and muck in to get jobs done.
Bea: It’s pretty cool! I’ve worked for the majority of my life with mostly women given the industries I’ve worked in, so am used to it. Bee and Amy have a great attitude and are very feminist in their approach which I love!
Leona: Absolutely! I feel much more free to express my creative ideas because our little team is so supportive. I think we all get each other much more because we are an all female team. Obviously we couldn't do it without our boys Hiro and Wolfie though!
You can read more about our team and how Hiro + Wolf started on the 'Our Story' page of our website, or simply click here.