Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hey y’all! My name is Andrea Miner and I’m a fashion advocate, lifestyle brand leader, wife, and entrepreneur. I grew up in New Braunfels, TX, which used to be a small little town about 30 miles south of Austin. I went to college at Texas State University and majored in education. After graduating college, I followed my big city dreams and moved to Austin to teach 4th grade. After that tumultuous year, I felt that teaching wasn’t calling my name as loudly as it had been before and spent the next couple years trying to figure out what was next. Having impact and making a difference in the world was always the focus behind wanting to teach and when I learned more about the fast fashion industry, I knew I had a new way that I could channel my passion!
What exactly is The Purposeful Closet?
The Purposeful Closet is a place to share brands that are creating change in the fashion world and leading the way to a more ethical and sustainable world. It can be so hard to find brands that are creating ethical and sustainable products, so I wanted to make it easy for people to find these brands and learn more about them.
What inspired you to start The Purposeful Closet?
After watching the documentary, ‘The True Cost’, I began doing more research and was horrified at the practices of the fast fashion industry. I knew I wanted to do something to advocate for change but I wasn’t sure what that looked like. About a year later, The Purposeful Closet was born. It’s my contribution to the ethical fashion community and a way to share my voice for people who can’t.
How did you come up with the name?
The idea of filling my closet with things that had “purpose” is what really inspired the name, The Purposeful Closet. As I started to look at the things I had filling my home, I realized how many things there were that were simply things. They had no real value to me and I wanted everything to be full of purpose. In starting The Purposeful Closet, I also knew that I would want to expand eventually and it seemed to fit with so many other ideas I had for living a purposeful life.
What is your favorite part about running The Purposeful Closet?
My favorite part is all the people I get to connect with! It’s been so incredible to find this community of people who are trying to change fashion and lessen its negative impact on the world.
What is your least favorite part about running The Purposeful Closet?
That there are only so many hours in a day. I’m so passionate about this and when I sit down to blog or research new brands I just don’t want to stop! I feel like I constantly have these new ideas and new things that I want to do, but it just feels like there is simply never enough time in a day.
You are aware of how difficult it can be to find clothing designers and manufacturers who produce their wares in an ethical, sustainable way, without the use of questionable labor practices, can you tell us a little about that?
The biggest challenge in finding ethical brands is the time it takes to do the research. Many companies have their missions posted on their website, but many do not and that’s where the work comes in. I’ve sent many emails to companies asking about the methods behind their products and for the most part brands have been happy to answer any questions. Of course there have been a few that have tried to disguise their answers but I’ve found that following my instincts and through sending multiple emails I can usually get all my questions answered.
How do you spread the word about The Purposeful Closet?
I’m very active on Instagram, but I alo spread the word through the clothes I wear. Whenever I get asked about a particular piece I’m wearing I usually try to give a short little snapshot of the brand (as opposed to just saying the name) and most of the time people want to know more, so I drop a little self-promotion. 😉
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Go for it! It’s so easy to feel afraid or unsure about your ideas but you have to push that voice aside and just do it. When you put your work and your ideas out into the world, you allow people to really see you and allow yourself to be vulnerable. With this, comes many ups but there can also be many downs. I have to channel those ups/downs and the fears into momentum for my next move. Fear can never be your excuse, but it can be your motivation!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.” -Harriet Tubman