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At Genus, we're totally passionate about gardening. We are an English company, based in the beautiful Cotswold countryside.. Our range is designed by keen gardeners who understand how the right sort of clothes can make gardening more comfortable and even more enjoyable. Gardening is about kneeling and bending, stretching and walking, and being outdoors in all weathers, and all seasons. The clothes gardeners wear have to work for all activities and in all conditions. This is what Genus Performance Gardenwear offers.
My background is as a practitioner, consultant, and lecturer in marketing, innovation, design and business development. Genus was born out of my own passion for gardening.
For most of my adult life I was a frustrated balcony gardener in London. I created really wonderful container gardens, but that wasn’t enough to feed my growing passion. Back in 2009 I left the city and moved to a charming Cotswold cottage with a large overgrown and neglected garden. At last I could feed my passion and create the kind of garden I had always dreamed of. Being a typical city girl I knew virtually nothing about horticulture on this scale. I searched the internet, bought books, asked people questions, and even though I didn’t have a grand plan, the garden began to emerge.
Creating the new garden became almost a full-time job, for three years I was in the garden every day. I learnt that gardening was not just about creativity, it is also about outdoor performance. It’s about physical activity in all weathers. It’s about having the right tools to do the job. Not just all the trowels and spades that I didn’t have at the time, but also the clothes that keep you warm and let you move and allow you to carry the tools you need.
Whilst I could find the tools, I just couldn’t find the clothes. The trousers I used for gardening ended up with holes in the knees, and they were too hot, or too cold, or just didn’t keep me dry. There was nowhere to put my secateurs without piercing myself. Nowhere to carry my mobile phone. If you put things in your hip pockets, you had to take them out to bend down. The sleeves on the tops were too short, my wrists got muddy and scratched.
That was it! As I couldn’t find a single brand of clothing designed specially for gardeners I decided I had better create one! Genus took root as an idea. It was going to be about performance clothes which reflect the experience of gardening and about putting the person, the gardener, at the heart of the experience.
After a year of design and testing we finally launched the brand in September 2013. We now have thousands of delighted customers and more are coming on board every day. Some of these Genus devotees are taking on the role of brand ambassadors and working to convince their friends and colleagues to throw away their old clothes and experience the pleasure and comfort of wearing clothes that are specially designed for gardening.
We’re now selling our second generation gardening trousers for men and women, with even more features, and based on customer feedback and ideas. We’ve launched a capsule range of high-performance tools that are unique to Genus, and a number of new clothing lines are being introduced during 2017.
We continue to get a great reception from the Press and we’re seeing now a germ of interest from garden centres.
Oh, and the Genus garden here in the Cotswolds is still looking wonderful!