10 Small Women-Owned Clothing Brands that Inspire Me
BY CLARISSA MAUER
As a small business owner, I love to discover and support small women-owned brands. As a fashion lover, I’m particularly drawn to apparel brands. Over the past few years, I’ve discovered inspiring entrepreneurs who create the most fabulous clothing.
Here are ten, to name just some!
Damaris Bailey is a mom of three who designs the most romantic and feminine pieces, all beautifully and thoughtfully crafted. On Instagram, I thoroughly enjoy learning about her creative process and the inspiration behind each collection.
Plante Clothing is a new brand to me, but I’m already obsessed! It’s an eco-friendly brand owned by a pair of sweet sisters who live in Charleston. Their designs are wearable and whimsical, made from natural, organic, and deadstock fabric (the leftover fabrics of fashion houses who overestimate their needs – often thrown away!).
The dress I’m wearing in this picture comes in three prints, and not going to lie, I want one of each!
Jefferson Lane is a specialty boutique, run by the lovely Julie Hunt, that offers the most beautiful embroidery (I’m obsessed with her cashmere embroidered sweaters!). She’s been hinting at a ready-to-wear line coming soon. I can’t wait to see it!
4. Joy Mao
Joy Mao is a true creative. Every part of her process exudes artistry, thought, and care. With a focus on slow fashion, Joy’s pieces are made in small batches. Follow her Instagram for major artistic inspiration.
Olivia Rose Havelock is a true slow-fashion inspiration. All her pieces are handmade upon order. Because of this, you must follow her Instagram to know when to order, as she only opens her online shop a couple of times a month, as she needs time to accommodate each batch of orders. Olivia makes romantic pieces incorporating the two features that speak to my heart: a good puff sleeve and an elegant square neckline.
6. Kara Thoms
Kara Thoms is such a summertime favorite for me. All of her designs have an ease to them. Just throw on one of her dresses or sets (like I’m wearing below) and you’ll instantly feel put together. Her brand is ethically produced, as all of her pieces are made in small batches by skilled artisans in Bali.
7. Day Dress
Day Dress continues the centuries-old craft of block printing. Gabby, a lover of patterned textiles, designs each pattern – inspirations from 18th century Indian and French prints. All of her pieces are ethically and thoughtfully produced in India.
Alivia is probably the sweetest brand that you will come across. Jovana, the founder, focuses on inclusivity. Alivia showcases the talents of people with disabilities by drawing from artwork created by individuals with developmental disabilities and translating them into bold prints for clothing designs.
I’ve been absolutely in love with Victoria Cocieru since I saw her on Season 18 of Project Runway. Her style is chic, cool, and so well crafted. She incorporates so many thoughtful details in her designs and the execution is just as good. She knows how to make women look good and feel good.
10. NMB NYC
NMB NYC is the ultimate cool-girl (and guy!) brand. Natalie has a strong point of view that makes you look and feel good, but it also does good. Each garment is made from upcycled clothing (thrifted and vintage clothing deconstructed for their fabric). It makes each piece unique and special.