Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ethical Summer Uniform: Kepola Design House

Being pregnant during the summer is no joke. Especially when you live in the desert and it gets over 100 degrees! I stumbled upon Kepola Design House after seeing a pair of their overalls in a photo. Let me tell you, these overalls are now officially my summer uniform. 

The linen is light and airy, but not restricting like linen can be sometimes. It moves with you and keeps you cool. Plus, the color is absolutely stunning. I think she really nailed a beautiful and wearable design, and the bonus? Everything is designed and stitched in-house, and making clothes that last is an important mission to them. What more could you ask for from a brand?

The founder and owner Autumn was kind enough to answer all my questions about her ethical brand and how it came to be. Read on below!

What made you decide to take the plunge and start Kepola Design House?

Kepola Design House was something that was conceptualized long before it was ever actualized! I had been dreaming of starting my clothing line for years, but it was just never the right time. It wasn't until I was let go from the last job I had, that I was like, okay, this it, time to make things happen, and it was as if everything just fell right into place. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It's funny how timing really is everything. 

What was the very first clothing piece you ever designed? How old were you?

I've been sewing since I was about 8 years old. I started with designing my doll clothes, then Halloween costumes, and in high school, my own clothes. I was taught by my mother and grandmother. My mother was amazing! She made most of our things growing up. Everything from stuffed animals, to clothing, to potholders for my Easy Bake oven.

What family member or friend is your biggest fan and supporter?

My parents have always been extremely supportive, but I would say my fiancĂ© is my biggest supporter. He has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and he is always there when fear comes into play, bringing me back to reality and just being optimistic. He owns his own business as well, and he comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so we have this constant support system of everyone helping everyone else out. It's a lot of fun. 

Where is your favorite place to gather inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from my experiences and the feelings they evoke. Whether it be a specific place I've traveled to or specific period of time in my life that I felt a certain way. Color, texture, structure--it all ultimately originates from a mood. 

What impact, positive or negative, has social media had on your business? 

Social media has had a very positive impact for my business as well as for myself. I love it because I see it more as a form of art than a form of marketing. It gives me an outlet to convey my thoughts and my feelings, to me, it's more like a journal than anything else.

Working for yourself can be draining and time-consuming since you don't technically "clock in and clock out" from work. How do you recharge or manage yourself to avoid burning out? 

I have been very strict with my time management from day one. I start work at 8am and end around 6pm everyday. I sometimes work on Saturdays, but usually always give myself Sundays to recharge, go to yoga or work in our garden. There is this huge misconception about working for yourself, that you can just drop everything at any time, because you make your own schedule, but its actually the exact opposite, you have to be very self disciplined and digilant with your time.

You say in your company missions that, “we take a stand against cheap labor, eliminate excess waste, and focus on the quality of our goods.” Do you think it is possible to keep this mission statement if your company were to grow much larger and the demand increased tenfold?

I do think it's possible! I think it's possible for every company, no matter the size, to take that stand. It all comes down to ethics and values and how a company chooses to produce its' goods. There is always a choice. Our goal is to just keep evolving, one step at a time, one day at a time. Eventually, we will size up to a larger studio, while creating jobs for women, supporting our local economy, and sticking to our mission. I am so inspired by other extremely successful brands that keep the entire process, from designing, to cutting, to sewing, all in-house. It's encouraging to know that it is possible.

love every piece in your collection, but if you had to sell only one item, which one would it be?

Thank you! I would definitely choose the London Linen Overalls. They are comfy, cozy, and an easy go-to piece!

Last fun/bonus question! If you could book any model you wished for your next collection, who would it be?

This is a tough question! I am inspired by so many women, but I would love to see Ally Walsh (@allylwalsh) in my designs. She is a model and coffee goddess and has such a natural and beautiful spirit about her.

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