Sorry, I have been a little inactive, I cannot believe how quickly It's A Country Life has taken off. When I dreamt up my little idea, I did not envisage this kind of reaction so quickly - so bare with me. Juggling a full time job & this exciting new business venture comes with it's challenges, but I am determined it won't be long before I am blogging full time up and down the country (maybe abroad too!).
Along my journey to try and spread the word of It's A Country Life, I stumbled across a brand which is fast becoming a favorite of mine! Gunn Line and her sister company Gunn Sporting.
I caught up with founder, Fin Gunn ahead of our meeting at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, where I have been lucky enough to have been invited by Fin to visit their stand - so be sure to come and say hi!
Firstly, the generic interview question: Tell us a little bit about Gunn Line and it's sister company Gunn Sporting.
~ So I set Gunn Sporting up first as i didn’t really feel that driven shooting in the Republic of Ireland was being marketed as well as it could be overseas.
We quickly began building relationships with estates in both the North and the South covering, shooting, fishing and stalking. There was a huge amount of interest in Ireland almost immediately. I think this was due largely to the A. the novelty of shooting in Ireland, something a lot of people haven’t done before and B. the quality and value for money you get in the Emerald isle.
We’re a couple of years down the line now and have branched in to Scotland and parts of England, letting pretty much anything the client wants.
Next, straight into the nitty-gritty: Going from serving in Afghanistan attached to the Kings Royal Hussars in 2012 to running an exclusive country sport and clothing brand, tell us how this came about?
~ I guess like many people in the countryside I’ve always had a passion for field sports and I wanted to combine that passion with a means of gainful employment so this seemed like the natural course. I suppose it’s a far cry from fighting the Taliban but there are definitely comparisons drawn in the day to day of running your own business.
And so we go on...Do you feel that you are different person since your deployment, compared to the Fin Gunn you were before you left?
~ I don’t think anyone comes back from a war the same person they left. The things you see and do, the way you behave under extreme duress, the physical exhaustion of day to day life in that heat will always have a lasting and formative affect on the person you are.
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it though, it was very hard at times but I made friendships that will run deeper than most people could ever hope for. I think if you ask anyone that was on the ground in Helmand they would agree that a little bit of them will always remain out there.
Gunn Life & Gunn Sporting focus heavily on field sports - are you an avid participant in these?
~ Yes, my favorites being hare coursing before the ban, duck flighting and hunting. Probably not the answer I should give as a sporting agent but I’ve always preferred honesty over bull shit.
Being a young, rather charming and successful entrepreneur, does this come with any setbacks to your social life? What aspects of being the founder of two companies pose as challenges in this area to you throughout your journey?
~ Firstly flattery will get you everywhere. (He knows!!) Secondly, I think I’ve chosen a course of action that in fact enhances my social life. I’m trying to sell clothes and a big part of that is life style. Certainly I spend a lot of time behind a computer, in the car and on the phone but I never let work get in the way of having fun, I simply stay up later or get up earlier and make sure that what i need to do gets done.
Providing content for social media is a large part of what I do and it would get very boring very quickly if i was sat inside indefinitely. I suppose the only set back would be income, everything i can get my mitts on to goes straight in to the business.
Here at It's A Country Life, we believe strongly in the value of quintessentially British clothing and products, our aim is to promote these perhaps smaller (only in recognition) but brilliantly British brands and showcase them for the real value that they bring to the market - do you feel starting a business in Britain especially, in such a niche industry has posed challenges and set backs for you along the road?
~ I have an endless struggle trying to convince people to buy something decent once at a fair price rather than buying cheap tat for peanuts 20 times.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” Benjamin Franklin
What can we find you doing in your spare time?
~ Working or Shouting “Biggles" at the top of my lungs. My Lurcher has recently discovered women. (We like the sound of Biggles!)
What does the future hold for Gunn Line?
~ We created a range of linen shirts and sold out within two weeks of launching so from what I can see this may be our calling. Moving in to the winter we are looking at supplying our own range of shooting breaks as well. Plus 6’s and plus 8’s in some very smart tweeds with a couple of extra details that will set us apart from the competition.
However, we will continue to expand our range of kit and clothing, selecting what I feel is the best quality to value ratio.
Thank you so much Fin, looking forward to catching up at Blenheim, and following Gunn Line & Gunn Sporting's progress in the future!
Check out Gunn Line's website here with a link to her sister company! Simply click on the logo.
Love Hollie-Ella X