Goodhood’s co-founder on corporates, coats, crystal balls and cash flow.
Jo Sindle launched the much-celebrated Goodhood in Shoreditch, east London, in 2007 with her partner Kyle Stewart. The men’s, women’s and lifestyle store soon gained a reputation for its unique offer, as the pair gathered interesting and emerging labels from around the world within a beautifully appointed space. In 2014, Goodhood moved from Coronet Street to a two-level space on Curtain Road.
How would you describe Goodhood?
A lifestyle, baby!
What makes it stand out?
Tell us about your change of location.
We moved from two small back-street stores to a 4,000 sq ft store on a much busier street. It still doesn’t feel big enough for all the ideas we have though.
How has the area changed since 2007?
Just more of everything. I don’t love the commerciality but it’s good for business, so I can’t complain.
What would your dream location be for a store?
What is your approach to buying.
Do you follow any rules? We follow our instincts.
If you could stock one brand, past or present, what would it be?
Seditionaries [the 1970s label designed by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren].
What is your approach to store design?
Having a tiny budget and restraints makes you think more, makes you more creative. I’m obsessed with interiors and architecture, so the new store was a blank canvas to realise some ideas I’d had.
What are the best things about running your own store?
Being able to hand-pick a great team, make it an enjoyable place to work and be free from anything like corporate rules and attitudes.
And the worst?
All the decisions.
What is the biggest challenge facing you as an independent retailer?
Tell us about your career path to opening Goodhood. Where else have you worked?
I was a clothing designer before this, working in many places, from designer labels to denim and sports brands. I specialised in denim design.
You work closely with your partner Kyle. How do you keep a work/life balance?
I don’t really, it all just merges together and becomes life as we do it.
What has been a career highlight so far?
Meeting some of my heroes through Goodhood, like [The Stone Roses singer] Ian Brown and [DJ and producer] James Lavelle.
What is your favourite thing to buy?
Coats and jackets for the autumn season. I own more coats than any other item of clothing. I love them.
Which elements of Goodhood come from you and which from Kyle?
We both have the same vision and have always been into the same things. I’m more responsible for the store – interior, layout, merchandising, for example. Kyle handles the website, graphic and branding output. I handle finances and organisational aspects, and Kyle manages marketing and projects. We both do buying and styling, and decide everything jointly.
What was the lowest point of your career?
Working for corporate companies. I left and vowed never to work in the corporate world again.
Where is the most unusual place you have discovered a new brand?
My dad’s wardrobe.
Are you ever surprised by the reaction to your buys?
I’m often surprised. Buying is part guessing game, like gambling. I’d love to have a crystal ball.
What is the best advice you have received?
Concentrate on what you’re doing and don’t look around at others too much.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
I rarely shop anywhere but Goodhood, but if I do, it’s usually from Supreme, or for specific shoes or vintage stuff.
What are your current favourite brands?
Unused from Japan and Aries.
What is the last fashion item you brought?
Parka from Unused at Goodhood
A white military parka from Unused at Goodhood.
What is your most treasured wardrobe item?
My most worn is a pair of Supreme x Levi’s camouflage dungarees. I live in them.
What fashion purchase do you most regret?
Anything I buy when hungover normally isn’t a sound purchase and is often regretted.
If you were not working in fashion, what would you be doing?
Campaigning for a better world and volunteering to help kids in bad situations to give them a chance to grow up happy.
If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be?
There are a few things: that it wasn’t taken so seriously – it’s only clothes, not really all that important in the grand scheme of the universe; that it didn’t perpetuate a culture of bad attitude, ego, insecurity, superiority and arrogance; and that it was more real in its representation of women.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
No, I’m too private for that!