Get full show notes here: sfdnetwork.com/48
If you need a shot of inspiration, you’ve got to hear this conversation with my guest Elle – the creator and designer behind Ellerali, an eco friendly clothing brand built solely on the passion of its founder. Elle wasn’t educated as a designer, she was trained as a marine biologist. But that hasn’t stopped her from following her passion for design, upcycling, and the creation of sustainable fashion.
Elle began sewing in 2012 and almost immediately began designing and handcrafting clothes. She loves to create out of repurposed fabrics in a way that does not add to the human imprint on planet Earth.
Ellerali is a lifestyle eco-fashion brand focused on multifunctional clothing that avoids waste and gives great value to the consumer at the same time. Elle’s guiding motto is “No scrap left behind.”
Join us for this conversation. It’s inspiring, motivating, and encouraging to hear what passion can achieve.
* [0:42] A marine biologist turned designer.. a passionate designer doing amazing things
* [5:15] Elle’s story: How she became the founder of an eco-friendly clothing brand
* [11:28] Beginning to design and generating income to sustain her efforts
* [20:34] Scaling the business and establishing unique, cause-oriented partnerships
* [26:10] The promotional power of wearing and using your own product
* [29:00] Making the most of curated craft shows and events
* [34:10] The current challenge: scaling the business while creating and designing
* [38:57] Manufacturers, investing in her business, and being true to her values
* [52:20] Overcoming the fear of putting yourself out there
* [56:50] The legalities and nuances of working in the upcycling movement
* [1:07:24] What do people not ask about the fashion industry that they should?
A wonderful example of the creativity and ingenuity Elle brings to her eco friendly clothing designs is what she refers to as “The MFS” or Multi-Functional Shawl. As its name implies, it’s a multifunctional clothing accessory that can be transformed to suit any outfit. It’s also reversible. I own two of these and love them!
As Elle got started with her sewing and clothing design work, she wasn’t sure what would come of it. All she knew was that she loved doing it and making a positive impact at the same time. It was the marriage of two incredible passions. As she began making things, she began wearing them. That’s when she discovered an amazing reality…
She was her best billboard.
People she met began asking her where she got the unique things she was wearing. Naturally, she was encouraged by the attention and was humbled when, after discovering that she’d created the clothing herself, many of them asked if she would create a piece for them.
An incredible aspect of promotion that many DIY designers overlook is that people need to see the clothing in action, and you are indeed your best billboard. In this conversation, Elle and I talk about how important it is for designers to “eat their own cooking,” so to speak, and the powerful impact it has on product demand. There are many lessons to be learned from Elle’s experience. I hope you take the time to listen.
As any business endeavor begins to gain steam, it’s natural to become excited about the forward progress you’re beginning to experience. But that excitement can lead to hasty decisions and compromise if we are not careful.
Elle points out that the things that she loves about her creations – that they are eco friendly and sustainable – are exactly the things she has to keep her focus on as she begins thinking about mass production of her clothing. There are so many opportunities to cut corners that bypass the vision behind what she’s doing, and she never wants to do that.
So she’s taking it slow. One step at a time. In her words, “I want to grow, but I want to be smart about it.” That’s great advice for any designer, whether we’re creating eco friendly clothing or not, don’t you think?
GUEST INFO AND RESOURCES:
* Elle's website: http://www.ellerali.com/
* Elle on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellerali/
* Elle’s Multifunctional Shawl (video): https://youtu.be/8UjlckWW-A0
* Outland Denim – A purpose-driven business fighting human trafficking: https://www.outlanddenim.com.au/
* Renegade LA Craft Show/Event: http://www.renegadecraft.com/
* I’m Unique LA Craft Show/Event: https://www.uniquemarkets.com/markets-la/
* Rewilder – Bags made from recycled beer filters: https://www.rewilder.com/
* Jackalope Craft and Arts Fair in Pasadena, CA: https://www.jackalopeartfair.com/pasadena/
ENJOY THE SHOW? YOU CAN HELP US OUT BY:
* Rating and subscribing on iTunes: sfdnetwork.com/review – it really helps!
LOOKING FOR MORE RESOURCES?
* Visit www.sfdnetwork.com/free/ for free fashion design templates, tutorials and more from Sew Heidi
Get full show notes here: sfdnetwork.com/48