You may not have heard of Ruroc, but the young entrepreneurs who founded the business that designs and sells enhanced head protection for extreme sports have certainly caught the attention of a leading retail light.
The entrepreneur and former Pets Pyjamas chief executive Gracia Amico, revealed this week that she has taken up her first non-executive director role with the Gloucester-based company whose innovative full face helmets with build in goggles were worn by some of the medal winners in the recent winter Olympics.
It’s gratifying to see someone of Amico’s experience prepared to invest her time in a fledgeling business at such a critical stage in its development.
And Ruroc, which sells its products online to customers across the world, could hardly have attracted a more suitable mentor.
Amico has been a highly respected figure in internet retailing over the past decade, holding senior e-commerce roles at the likes of Burberry and Hobbs. As head of e-commerce at Topman, she launched international sites for France, Germany and the US (an experience that will no doubt have caught the eye of Ruroc whose largest market is the US). And like Ruroc, which has invested heavily in Facebook ads to build its customer base, Amico is extremely adept at using social media as a marketing tool.
Her entrepreneurial background also aligns nicely with a company in its early stages of growth. Amico founded her own online jewellery business in the very early dotcom days and retained a keen entrepreneurial spirit.
As well as being a respected industry figure, Amico is also a role model for women in retail and has previously spoken about thriving in senior roles in male-dominated companies. In 2016 she told Retail Week: “As women, I think we have certain attributes that are incredibly useful in business. Our stamina is impressive. Our intuition, 360-degree view, eloquence, compassion, drive, cultural understanding and ability to listen on top of the usual business requirements are all attributes that can make a good leader great.”
Ruroc’s co-founder and chief executive Daniel Rees will only benefit from having Amico as a sounding board, and you sense there will be other businesses queuing up to benefit from her wisdom and experience if and when she pursues other non-executive roles.