#PerthGirlBoss 6: Natasha Butler

Let’s be honest, Natasha (Tash) Butler does not fit the mold of society’s perception of a “typical” footy wife (in case you didn’t know, hubby Sam Butler plays for Perth’s very own West Coast Eagles). She is smart, kind hearted, loyal and another one of those super multi-talented women – basically Tash is the epitome of a #PerthGirlBoss, down to her very core. It is this down to earth personality and positive attitude that has seen Tash gain the respect and support from fellow Perth women since launching her own label BRUUG. Since its’ inception in 2013, BRUUGs’ loyal followers (of what is affectionately called the BRUUG Army) have included Rayne Embley and Shae Brown, and still continues to grow in number – most recent addition includes the whole Aussie Diamonds netball team.

But don’t let any “WAG” tag associated with Tash throw you off, Tash is a practical girl and her style is definitely on the opposite spectrum to OTT! So it’s no surprise really that BRUUG reflects Tash’s own style – think classic basics and sleek, elegant cuts at affordable price points. Intrigued yet? Read the interview with Tash where she talks about everything fashion, from inspirations to everyday style and the importance behind versatile wardrobe pieces.

1. What was your decision behind starting your own label?

I think there were many sides to this decision, but I think my quarter life crisis was the catalyst. Half the battle with getting older is thinking that your best days are behind you and I guess this gave me the drive to try to kick this self prophesying concept and do what makes me happy now, in the search for happiness never being linked to a certain event – rather it being a lifestyle.  So I took the plunge.  I read, I listened, I learned and built a foundation for pursuing a dream career that I never believed could be attainable for a girl like me.  And I love every step of this exponential learning curve and continue to pinch myself everyday.

2. You originally studied economics but has fashion always been your true passion?

Haha! Without sounding corny, yes.  However, growing up sketching stilettos didn’t seem like a basis for a business, it was just something that I did when I was bored in class.  It took a long time for me to realise that it was the fascination with the relationship between how a woman looks and how she feels that ultimately made me want to work in the industry.  But I will say that I am so grateful that I did study Economics – running this business across two countries would be that much harder without my Econs background.

3. Tell me more about BRUUG – how did you come up with the name?

BRUUG actually is a play on my maiden name, Leembruggen.  When I was younger I tried to get people to call me BRUUG as a nickname because I thought it was cool… it didn’t take off – I got Toosh instead. So BRUUG was a natural choice in the end. Ha!

Tash Butler2

Photo: Tristan Jud

4. Who or what inspires you & your designs?

The women that surround me – my Mum, my sister, my girlfriends.  BRUUG is a ready to wear label and that means I want to have pieces that the women I respect around me would be happy to throw on, on any given day.

5. Who is the BRUUG woman? (What kind of women do you design for?)

The BRUUG woman is the sort of woman that works as hard as she parties, hates that she loves carbs, laughs harder than anyone else when she stacks it, is fiercely loyal and is always TEAM GIRL but knows how to be one of the lads.

6. Describe BRUUG in 3 words:

Guy-hot. Effortlessly polished.  (I totally cheated with the guy-hot one, sorry, I know that is two words!)

7. BRUUGs’ prices are so affordable – you could create an entirely new outfit for under $200 (with change). When creating the label was affordability a priority?

Yep, absolutely!  I am super passionate about this topic.  I totally understand that some pieces are going to be pricey and that is ok, but we can’t have wardrobes full of expensive items – we still have to eat and buy wine!  Plus in the age of social media where outfit repeating is seemingly so offensive, affordability always helps when accumulating more options to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

8. What does your everyday style look like?

BRUUG is my everyday style. Ha, how predictable right?  I stand by the label’s aesthetic and it is empowering for me.  I’m big on mixing statement pieces with basics – outfits that can be dressed up and dressed down because I will admit that in my old age (my Mum will slap me for saying that) the stiletto wearing is limited to meetings, dancing and functions that require some sort of dress code, so at any given time I may need to just chuck some heels on after work to look appropriate.

Bruug

Photo: Tristan Jud

9. You recently started a BRUUG basics range. Why do you feel good quality basics are so important as part of women’s’ wardrobes?

I love basics because of what they represent.  That quiet confidence, the security in knowing that OTT doesn’t equal style, that attention is better received when not begged for in the first place.  Plus let’s face it, there are some days when effort is impossible to muster up and a great go to basic is such a God send on those days.  We get it.

10. What is the “ultimate” basic item every woman should have in her wardrobe?

The white tee, hands down.  Closely followed by skinny leg black pants and a leather jacket.

11. A lot of BRUUG pieces are classy enough for business or work but can easily be worn for Friday night drinks or a night out. Did you think about this when designing and compiling your collections? If so, why do you feel it is important to have versatile pieces that can transition from day to night?

You just get me Juvelle! Again that dressed up, dressed down thing is the basic underpinning of 80% of our pieces.  More so we really believe in value for money.  A ‘one trick pony’ purchase means that versatility is minimal so price per wear is pretty high and there may only be limited ways you can wear it.  We want a BRUUG piece to add so many more outfit options to your wardrobe – not just one.

12. Finally, what are your future plans, ventures or ambitions for BRUUG?

Just to keep growing and expanding.  We are hoping to start pushing our East Coast presence over the next 12 months, so we are excited to see what that holds in store for us.

Bruug2

Photo: Tristan Jud

 

Want to join the BRUUG army? (Who wouldn’t?!) You can shop the whole BRUUG range online, or you can visit the funky BRUUG space in Claremont (Perth) at 12 Graylands Road on Thursday nights (5 – 7pm) and Saturdays (11am – 3pm). Just FYI, as Tash always tells me, rocking up with wine is always welcome (wink wink!)

JB xx

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