Read on below for our interview with Shoutout SoCal
Hi Catherine, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
I always dreamed of starting a clothing line, and I really wanted to start it right out of college. A lot of wise people in my life advised me to work for other brands first to get experience in the industry and learn the ropes and reality of designing and producing clothing. I’m so glad I did because there truly is so much to learn, and more importantly I met amazing people along the way who taught me so much and those relationships we formed are so precious to me even years after we worked together.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Every decision with Siena and Co. puts the dignity of the human person first and foremost. We ask questions like “will this design dignify the woman wearing it? Will she look and feel beautiful and confident?” “Who is going to make these? Are they being treated with respect and being paid a fair wage?” “Which models are going to wear these? Are they going to feel comfortable and confident in this setting? Are we representing a wide variety of women so lots of women can see themselves reflected in marketing?” It’s not easy because money is the driving and deciding force for others in the apparel industry and for creating a lasting, successful and profitable business. But I think it’s worth trying to forge our own path treating women the way they deserve and hopefully, we’ll meet others fighting the good fight along the journey!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While I went to school for Apparel Design and worked in the industry for several years before starting Siena and Co., I decided to go through the business accelerator program “Factory 45” by Shannon Lohr which held my hand through the actual process of starting a sustainable apparel business. It really helped support navigating marketing and building a following even before launching our first product, as well as step-by-step instructions for reaching out to production partners to actually manufacture our swimsuits.