Maintaining quality and craftsmanship in a fast-growing environment
About Stutterheim – A simple craftsmanship
Stutterheim Raincoats is a Swedish luxury fashion brand founded by Alexander Stutterheim in Stockholm in 2010. The brand’s vision is to create beautiful, yet functional, rain- and outerwear with the highest quality. All coats are handmade using the finest craftsmanship and they are characterized by simplicity, functionality and timeless design. Today Stutterheim’s Raincoats have come a long way, from being a company of two to employing more than 20 talented people, while still working in the Södermalm area of Stockholm.
Stutterheim was born when Alexander Stutterheim found one of his grandfather’s old raincoats in an abandoned barn. The fact that the coat was both practical and fashionable made him wants to wear it instantly. Since that moment, Alexander started the brand and spent the next few months buying oilcloth and developing a prototype, which he then brought to one of the last standing textile factories in Sweden.
The challenges of a rapid growth
Stutterheim quickly gained success as various celebrities started to notice the brand. Since then, they have collaborated with luxury stores like Barney’s New York, Volvo, and Whistles. In 2013, the brand expanded worldwide and in 2015, their collections were sold in over 1000 retailers.
For a brand that has grown that quickly in just five years, it takes a lot to maintain the quality of each product. We spoke with Elizabeth Edelstam, Junior Designer at Stutterheim, about how they manage and keep track of the product development while making sure that the soul of the brand remains intact.
“In hectic periods, the most important thing is to visit the supplier and make sure there are no communication failures. What is also important is to make sure the supplier only gets the information with the highest priority.” – Elizabeth Edelstam explains.
Making sure brand and supplier are aligned and communicate actively is the key. For Stutterheim, this includes updating the supplier on every specific step of the production, and for that they use Delogue. Elizabeth describes: “Delogue is our most important tool for all communication regarding our product developments. We use it for measurements and comments on fit for example. We also use the report tool a lot, together with custom fields for exporting lists of certain parts of the collections and for sample orders.”
Using Delogue, makes it easier for us to ensure that the supplier always has all the information needed for every single product and they know exactly where to find it. – Stutterheim.
As Elizabeth mentioned, for a brand like Stutterheim, the main factors in order to stay on top are the collaboration and communication with suppliers. Communication across the entire value chain is one of the most important elements within any brand in general, although it is also one of the most difficult things to manage and organize.
In Stutterheim’s case, they have a specific approach to ensure the quality of the brand products: “We aim to grow together with a few suppliers instead of regularly adding new suppliers as the company is growing. But as the collections are growing, we also need to make sure that we have enough support from the factories.” – says Elizabeth about staying in the loop regarding suppliers and their performance.
When asked about risks in the production, Elizabeth elaborates: “So far, we have not run into any major issues with the production (knock on wood). Our suppliers have a lot of experience with materials we work with. Using Delogue, makes it easier for us to ensure that the supplier always has all the information needed for every single product and they know exactly where to find it.”
Trusting every element of the value chain is a significant part of any successful business and this is exactly what Stutterheim has managed to master and maintain within a short period of time. Being able to keep the production simple and with high quality, while still answering to the increasing demand, is quite remarkable – and definitely, a model to be inspired by.