Aisling Kyte and her brother Chris created Thug Rugs which are perfect for weathering the elements when your checking the surf, festivals, climbing, sailing, post-surfing, dog-walking, horse-riding and just about everything else you can imagine.
Aisling, tell us about yourself and where you’re from?
My background is originally from snowboarding and I love to be outside no matter where I am – rain or shine! I studied fashion at Uni straight from school. I knew that if I had a gap year the freedom would get to me and I’d never make it back to education!
My brother and I were born and raised in Surrey. (We own the company equally). Although I’m not sure you could say we’re from there now as we rarely return! Chris actually lives in his van travelling through Europe these days and I’ve spent the last two winters in France.
What’s it like where you live?
I currently live in a tiny shoebox apartment with a friend in Morzine, France. It’s super diddy but absolutely perfect as it’s a 5 minute drive to the local ski slopes, so I basically live on the side of a mountain. AKA. A massive back garden! There’s beautiful rivers and lakes all around the place too.
Do you surf?
Badly but I love it. I tend to get so excited to be back in the sea that I jump up and down and fall over a lot. I’ve been known to brave the February British sea when the opportunity arises!
How did you come up with the idea of setting up your own company? How did you get into designing the Thug Rugs?
Chris has been travelling the world snowboarding for nearly a decade. He had an old ratty fleece hood he used to wear that appeared in our house one day, no one actually knows where it originally came from. When it completely wore out he tried to buy a new one but couldn’t find one anywhere. He rang me up, since I was a fashion student, and asked if we could make one. Once I had my hands on it, I ran a bit wild and made loads of different styles and colours. We realised if we loved these pieces, others might too, so we set up a website to test it out and 2 years later they’re still flying out the door! Soon after we’d developed the product, we had people buying them for festivals, climbing, sailing, post-surfing, dog-walking, horse-riding and just about everything else you can imagine.
What’s unique about Thug Rugs?
They’re ridiculously warm and super wind-proof. All of the pieces are also completely uni-sex and ageless! Our customers range from 5 year old boarders to 85 year old golfers. We’re constantly surprised by who buys what. People like that the entire company is ran by me and my brother.
What inspires your designs?
Purely patterns we think are cool! We try to incorporate a range of colours, but we’ve realised if we don’t 100% love a pattern it tends not to sell. We often get into heated debates – particularly when it come’s to naming each piece!
Describe your life in 5 words
Unplanned hilarity and organised chaos!
See the range of Thug Rugs at the Beach Boutique, shop here.