HDSCo is the migration of many things. It was born by accident in many ways. There was no business plan or quest for wealth. The biggest ingredient was quite simply an urge to express what had been, for many years, a warped version of my identity. I spent most of my teenage years and my twenties I guess, entertaining, rather than living. I would be described by my peers, my friends and my family, as someone who was confident, ‘out there’ and extrovert. I would dye my hair all the colours, I’d buy the clothes nobody else would buy and I would spend most parties firmly fixed to the centre of the dance floor. But it was false. Inside, I was a person who spent large periods suffering with anxiety behind the scenes. It almost cost me my marriage - long before I was married - as the insecurity would manifest itself into attention seeking and particularly that of women. I needed to feel loved, by everybody. I needed to feel wanted, by everyone. I loved to be different, but for years my 'difference' was need rather than comfort.
So I guess the idea of creating a one-off pair of hand dyed shoes was, at the time, probably an outcome of my insecurity. The idea would feed my desire to be unique and different. A unique pair of bright purple brogues would feed by difference; it would help me be noticed. Accepted. Validated. And so, I set out on this mission to create them using the scrap leather from the workshop floor where I worked in the sofa making world.
What I didn’t expect was how in creating those brogues, and subsequently HDSCo, would become the form of therapy I needed to overcome my insecurities. In time, the why changed for me. It became less and less about craving affection and more and more about celebrating my creative difference, rather than hiding behind them. I think that maturity and age, mixed with marriage, children and the business has all played its part in ’growing up’ not only as an identity, but in evolving my mindset to become a much stronger, more complete and comfortable human being.
I love my life now. I don't worry too much about what I wear or who is watching. I live every day as I feel it. I still love to be different, but more as an expression of personality rather than an expression of insecurity. I'm not bulletproof by any stretch of the imagination and I still have periods of this strange anxiety and neediness, but HDSCo became my reason to love myself; and later, the kids too. The product and what we do has taken the good part of me - the desire to be different - and blossomed into a business that really celebrates individuals’ choices and freedom to be whoever or whatever they want to be. Whether that is bold and show stopping, or elegantly discreet, that’s what HDSCo does. It enables you to be you, and for me, that’s the greatest gift I could give to myself.
And this, is why HDSCo exists.