Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Erica Krutzen, owner of Loveprema. I am a mother to a beautiful 18 year old daughter who is my greatest cheerleader! I’m also an art therapist in private practice working with kids, teens and adults facilitating healing through the creative process. I enjoy helping others and making a difference, love time in nature, traveling, photography and any creative endeavors I can get my hands on! Balancing 2 businesses is both rewarding and challenging at times.
What exactly is Love Prema?
LovePrema is a conscious minded design company making clothing, hand made jewelry and accessories in Bali, Canada and India. We follow fairtrade practices and are dedicated to social responsibility. LovePrema ethically sources unique fabrics, colours and styles to create a dynamic line for all body types and lifestyles. Our jewelry, clothing and accessories have been hand picked and created in collaboration with our team to inspire and create comfort and uniqueness. We have 4 lines: yoga wear, upcycled boho jean collection, one of a kind festival clothing, jewelry and accessories plus we sell some cushions and yoga bags. I try to create styles with a flare for the individual who likes something a little different.
What inspired you to start Love Prema?
As far back as I can remember I have always bought things and altered them. I cut sleeves, shortened tops, added materials to pants, cuffs or trims. On a very regular basis I get stopped on the street or in stores and asked where I got my outfit or if I can help put similar styles together for someone. It seemed a natural step to start creating my own clothing line and everything fell into place when a friend suggested I join her on a scouting mission to Bali to take the first steps in starting my business. Since I had been working as an art therapist for many years facilitating other’s creativity and healing through the arts I was ready to start something that expressed my own creativity.
How did you come up with the name?
I brainstormed for several weeks and wrote down hundreds of names, ran them by friends, but nothing stuck. Next I thought about my love of India and study of Tibetan Buddhism and how it would be perfect to choose a word from these influences that represented my business. One day I realized the name needed to be Love because love was at the core of everything I was doing. Prema is love in Hindi and also in Sanskrit it means a greater love. When I wanted to register Prema it was taken so I decided on LovePrema meaning Lovelove. This name represents bringing love full circle because when you buy something from Loveprema you are supporting others and in turn can feel good about what you’re wearing; love is given and received. Interestingly I got my first tattoo six months prior to contemplating this new business and the tattoo in Sanskrit says Prema!
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
They are sold worldwide through the Loveprema website, Instagram and Facebook. They’re also sold in select local yoga studios and retail stores where I live in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. I am currently looking to partner with buyers in the USA and Europe.
What is your favorite part about running Love Prema?
My favorite part is having my hands on every aspect of the business from designing to buying materials, making samples, meeting the customers and telling them what LovePrema is about, and seeing customers wearing and loving the clothes.
You give a percentage back with every sale, can you tell us a little about that?
Giving back has always been a large part of my life so it was essential that I had social consciousness built into my business. Over the last several years I learned from my charity work both locally and internationally how important it is to give back to communities and empower people. With Loveprema a percentage of my sales go to a woman’s centre and school for disabled children run by a remarkable woman I met in Bali. You can read more about her story on my website: www.loveprema.com.
Is there a favorite product?
I have a favorite product in each line. My favorite pieces to design and create are the one of a kind upcycled jean pieces because each tells a story. They are as unique as the individual who is drawn to a particular piece. The clothing industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. The cheap clothes we buy are discarded after a short time, are made in poor working environments by people who are underpaid. I like to make clothes that have meaning and bring consciousness to what we wear, where it comes from, and who made it. l’m currently collaborating with two talented artists, one who paints details and symbols on the jackets and the other dyes parts of the jackets to match the textiles used. I’ve also recently started doing commissioned pieces for musicians and artists.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Social media platforms and my website are the main ways I reach people. I also attend festivals and markets which have given me a lot of exposure and introduced me to some amazing people that have helped me along the way.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Some of the best advice given to me was from a successful business coach: “Always remember why you are doing this not how you’ll do it.” Now if I’m unsure of what’s next I always ask myself why I started this business. There won’t ever be a perfect moment to start so I would say to anyone go for it and see where it takes you. I have also learned it takes time to build a solid base and it is important to be strong from the ground up when things take off. Even if some days you have no idea what’s next or what you’re doing just keep going and suddenly you will have clarity and new inspiration or you’ll get a call you didn’t expect or help you never dreamed of. This has happened to me time and time again. Trust the process. Be patient and dream big!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? 🙂
“Do what you love, love what you do and with all your heart give yourself to it.” Roy T. Bennett
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake .” 🙂
Henry D. Thoreau