Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in the fashion industry. My dad sold clothes in his humble store in the Fashion District of downtown LA. I have been exposed to this fast-paced, ever-evolving business all my life. So it was natural for me to start something new for myself.
What exactly is People of Leisure?
People of Leisure is a lifestyle brand focused on the simple pleasures of dressing comfortably while still feeling beautiful. We’re also a sustainable, fair trade brand that allows women to build a capsule wardrobe while living consciously.
What inspired you to start People of Leisure?
We are based out of Los Angeles, California, a very fashionable city in its own right. With that in mind, I wanted to provide a clothing option where the busy woman could move from the gym to work and then out with her friends all in the same outfit. I wanted to simplify her wardrobe with clothing made out of only the best fabric in the most versatile fashion.
I also recognized early on that there were considerable injustices being employed against workers in the apparel industry, so I decided to create a sustainable brand that would address that problem. People of Leisure has a Zero Sweat policy in which each worker must be paid a fair wage as well as proper and ethical working conditions. We also try our best to source organic materials while implementing a sourcing strategy that helps eliminate waste.
How did you come up with the name?
If someone asked me to describe who our designs are geared towards, I won’t describe age, gender, race, or any other physical attributes. I would simply reply I design for people of leisure. Therefore it was so simple and easy to call my company just that because no matter who you are, what your background is, or where you come from, we all love the luxuries of leisure.
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
Our products are sold primarily on our online shop and also at some specialty boutique stores. We believe that nowadays the consumer likes to spend less time shopping and more time wearing the clothing they purchase. Therefore, we like to make sure our clothing is accessible both at their fingertips and just down the street.
What is your favorite part about running People of Leisure?
My favorite part of running People of Leisure is the connection we make with our customer. Thanks to social media, we see their reactions and read their feedback almost instantaneously. I love hearing from our customers! That’s the only way to grow your business.
We’ve also made some amazing relationships with influencers both in the fashion and ethical world who have been nothing but supportive of our brand from day one. We actually run Q+As with them on our blog!
You donate a percent of all sales; can you tell us a little about that?
Yes! So since we launched, we have been donating 10% of our online sales to Soles 4 Souls, an organization that fights poverty with shoes and clothing. I think we can all agree that children are definitely the future of our world. As a society we must ensure their physical, mental, and emotional nourishment. Having access to shoes and clothing is a simple but significant way to contribute to their well-being. We firmly stand behind the mission of Soles 4 Souls and strongly believe every person, especially every child, needs to be properly clothed in order to face the realities of everyday life.
What is trending right now?
It’s quite difficult to describe trend since it is always evolving. It’s sometimes difficult to focus our business on fashion trends because what is in today can easily be out tomorrow.
However, lifestyle trends are something we do follow. More recently, there has been a focus on being healthy and staying fit. I think people simply want to enjoy life and look good doing it. Needless to say, fashionable workout clothes are definitely a very trendy style happening in the market right now. You may look like you’re going to the gym, but add some blush and lip gloss and change those sneakers to sandals and all of a sudden your go-to gym attire transformed into your going out attire.
Also, I believe comfort is becoming trendier. It’s not frowned upon to wear leggings to different functions- either a casual meeting or a dressed up affair. I think consumers want to look good, but comfortable too.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Word of mouth and digital marketing. We currently run an influencer campaign with a variety of bloggers in both the fashion industry and ethical/eco-friendly world. Social media has also completely transformed how we connect with customers as well.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
My advice for fellow entrepreneurs is to start a company where you, yourself, will be a customer. You are your first critic. So design for yourself. What do you like? What would you wear? These are all basic questions, but when answered, will become the foundation of your successful business.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
An inspirational quote that I always remember is from one of my favorite designers, Marc Jacobs. He said, “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in it.” That’s exactly what People of Leisure embodies. No pun intended. At the end of the day, our product is not the most important. Making clothes is not our business. Dressing people is.