Have you ever looked at pictures of a place or heard someone talk about their most recent destination and thought, "Wow, I just really want to go!"? I was sitting in an English literature class and the professor had two students come in to talk about their recent creative writing and hiking study abroad in the south of England, and I had one of those moments.
Editor's Note: In order to continue producing Holl & Lane, we rely on amazing partners (who we truly believe in) to run ads within our pages. We're so excited to introduce you to the 10 amazing partners who have allowed us to create Issue 14 for you. We encourage you to dig a little deeper into their stories and learn more about the products and services they create. Without them, we wouldn't be able to keep doing H&L.
1. Why and how did you start The Edie Company?
Entrepreneurship is something that runs deep in our family. My mom comes from a very strong entrepreneurial background; both of her parents maintained successful businesses for many years, so it is something she knew well even as a young girl. It was unexpected, but not surprising, that after college she returned to her mother’s primary business, a women and children’s clothing boutique, before she decided to venture out on her own and start a men’s clothing store.
I never expected to work in a small business. In fact, I never expected to work in business at all. I studied political theory as an undergraduate, and I prepared to one day go to law school.
However, throughout our lives my mom and I have always been careful to remind ourselves of why we make certain decisions. My mom went back to business because she’s good with people, and she has the type of organizational mindset that makes her a natural and effective manager. I gravitated towards political theory because it allowed me to study topics that I cared deeply about.
After college I went to work for an economic development organization where I consulted small and mid-sized businesses. To my surprise, I found that I had an intuitive understanding of business, so it was a really great fit. At some point, my mom and I had a great “ah-ha” moment where we realized that we could create a company that would allow us to leverage our expertise to champion causes that we deeply cared out, so The Edie Company was born.
My mom’s knowledge of apparel was instrumental to help us know where to start. I utilized my knowledge from working with start-ups to put together a business plan with timelines and goals for our business, and within a year of the initial idea we were well into product development. Since then, we have really complemented each other’s strengths well, and we’ve created a company that we’re both really proud of.
2. What is your main mission? What is conscious commerce and why is it important today?
Our main mission is to empower others through conscious consumer choices. For us this is important because we know that our choices have an impact on the lives of others. Our hope is that we can create a company in which our impact, and the impact of our customers, is positive rather than negative.
The fashion industry as we know it is unsustainable, but we are also experiencing a pivotal moment in which it is improving for the better. There is a better understanding of how garments are made and how that impacts the environment and the rights of workers. As a company, we’re proud to be part of that change. We embrace the philosophy that less is more, so that means creating better, more versatile products. We also view our sustainable practices, whether it be sourcing eco-friendly fabrics or manufacturing in the United States, as something that we cannot compromise on if we wish to provide a quality product that treats the environment and workers fairly. Lastly, the donation aspect of our company is really what allows us to provide value in our products beyond the products themselves. As consumers we have more purchasing power than ever, and our company wishes to use that purchasing power to improve the lives of others.
We think it is important to contribute to this change and to encourage others to make a more conscious effort to support better business models, and we’re hopeful that we can all do our part to create a better industry.
3. How do you hope your brand affects women's lives?
For our customers, we hope that we can create pieces that they love. We understand that our customers live vibrant, dimensional lives, so it is important for us to create pieces that are both comfortable and versatile. As a mother-daughter duo I think we are able to design pieces that are appropriate for women of any age, and that is something we feel great about. It is a true representation of how much we appreciate timeless designs for their chic aesthetic but also practicality.
Our business is also very proud to work with other women-owned businesses. Both of our manufacturers are women-owned enterprises and we have worked with some amazing creatives – stylists, photographers, and make up artists – who have helped us bring our vision for the brand to life.
As a company, supporting our customers and our partners is very important, and we hope that we can continue to cultivate a strong sense of community and female empowerment.
4. We love what The Edie Company is doing to give back. Can you tell us more about how you're empowering communities and why it was important to you that this was a part of The Edie Company?
When we came up with the concept of Edie, the giveback model was already well established, and this type of social entrepreneurship was really exciting to me. In my mind, we make purchases everyday for things we need, so how great would it be if those purchases could actually help others?
When we came up with the concept of Edie, we knew that we wanted to incorporate this into our business model, but we needed to find a cause that actually had meaningful impact. Sometimes there is a danger with a donation-based model of funds or products being misappropriated, and there is also a risk of hurting regional businesses by donating goods that would otherwise be purchased. Mindful of both of these things, we decided on uniform attire as our first type of donation because it was a physical product that would provide a long-term benefit. Over the last year we’ve worked to identify a local community and supplier for our first donation, and we believe that we have done our due diligence to ensure that multiple members of the community can benefit. We’re really excited to finally be in a stage to carry out this promise of our mission.
5. Alright, we know asking you to pick favorites might be like asking your favorite child, but can you tell us what's your current favorite from the collection that everyone needs in their closet?
My favorite garment is by far the long-sleeve t-shirt. I always rave about our bamboo blend, but it really is what people love most about our current collection. It has a silk-like feel to it, so it is incredibly soft and comfortable on the skin. The fabric also feels more luxurious than cotton, so you can really elevate it for different looks. It is a shirt that I can pair with a pair of jeans or with a pencil skirt, which I really love. This may not apply to everyone, but it is also a great piece for travelers. Most recently, I took it with me to Japan, and I was glad to have a garment that I could wear in the ultra-chic streets of Tokyo and also depend on when visiting the Japanese Alps.
Moving is never easy. Moving cities or continents is even harder. As someone who grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone, London was a whole new ball game. I remember standing on the pavement watching the people pouring in and out of the station, like the life veins of the city, jostling and striding and all with somewhere to be and someone to see.
In 2012 I took the leap, and moved from California to Costa Rica. Yet living in this paradise on earth, I have been forced time and again to face the fact that we live in an imperfect world, and to find ways to come to terms with this in order to live a more sanguine life.
Prior to moving to Italy, I would not have described myself as adventure seeking. A high achieving rule follower with a desire to please was more my gig. Until it wasn’t. When my hard work went unacknowledged or my love unreturned, my mind, heart, and body grew restless. I broke every rule in the name of love, making irreparable mistakes at the expense of others.