When and where did it begin?
It began in spring 2018 in my apartment in Kensington, I was 24 and was becoming frustrated with aspects of the charity sector. I wanted to create something really beautiful, but not lose sight of my life time goal of making positive change so I started to look into business models that would allow me to do both simultaneously. I did research around natural luxury fibre and cashmere was the one I was most drawn to. I grew up always wrapped up in my dads old cashmere jumpers and the more I learnt about the goats and how precious and time consuming it was to grow these fibres in the traditional way the more I became married to the idea.
What made you want to start this idea now?
At the time there was this either/or feeling in the market. You could either buy luxurious high end pieces or you could be sustainable and ethical and I didn’t want to compromise the two. Stella McCartney obviously doesn’t fall into this, she was the only person I could find in the space that combined the two… My philosophy is that we should have the styles we want and they should just happen to be produced in a sustainable and ethical way, we shouldn’t have to compromise our style for our morals or the planet.
Why fashion and why sustainability?
I love fashion, I love how a change of outfit can make you feel completely different and you can express the way you’re feeling that day in what you put on. You’re feeling glamorous, you’re feeling grungy… for me its a beautiful form of expression. My ex boyfriend always asked me why I cared so much about the clothes I wore and designers etc and I asked him “you like art right?” … he left my outfit choices alone after that. Everything I love to do I want to be able to do in a sustainable and ethical way, I started La Sororité to bridge that gap. I wanted to wear cool cashmere jumpers but know the animals, the environment and the people making them hadn’t suffered. If I were to buy a cashmere jumper from 95% of the places on the market that wouldn’t be the case
Who’s your inspiration?
My team inspire me every day, they are all young feisty women with big ambitions. Also my grandmother, she is this glamorous, humorous, strong woman…and honestly incredibly stubborn. She does what she wants to do and she will not be persuaded otherwise. I see a lot of her in myself.
What’s the most difficult part of running your own business?
Your team think you have the answers but really you just have a vision and are making it up as you go along. I find it hard to know I could always be doing more, like where do you draw the line?
For the students out there who are thinking of starting a business, what would you recommend?
Ignore the people who tell you can’t, the biggest difference in the people who success and the people who don’t are the ones who don’t give up when the going gets tough.
On your rough days of running a business, how do you turn things around? How do you motivate yourself?
The rough days are intense! I feel like starting a business is like spinning 10 plates at once and not letting anything drop. Someone at my church once said every morning when he got up and knew he had a gruelling day ahead to reach his goals he would sit for a couple of minutes and remember ‘the why’, I thought this was really profound and I try to always do that. Remember why I started and my vision for the future and that if I do let a plate drop you just get a new plate and carry on. I also draw huge motivation from within my team, they are all individually incredible women who really have passion in their souls and they really inspire me. Failing all of that Beyonce!
What podcast are you listening to?
My good friend Siffat (@icingandglitter) has an incredible podcast, I don’t know how she does it but I’m hooked by every single one, she interviews CEOs, dermatologists, holistic health experts and she always asks the questions you wanted to hear. I also listen to the BBC world news podcast everyday just to make sure I am aware of what’s going on.
What book are you currently reading or hoping to read?
I am currently reading ‘Give Work’ by the inspirational Leila Janah. I read it when it first came out a few years ago but she tragically passed away earlier in the year so I felt inclined to read it again to remember what an impact it had on me the first time round.
What’s your favourite city, restaurant, cafe and park?
I love the Mexican restaurant in Annabels, it’s a perfect date spot too. Cafe is easy, my favourite cafe is Monparrenise in Kensington – we literally built La Sororité on their coffee and croissants. My favourite city is such a hard one because it depends on my mood but I love LA – the sun is always shining, it’s full of creatives and you have access to nature, CBD oil and the best burritos this side of the boarder. What more do you want? My favourite park is Kensington palace park, it’s close to where I live and I have so many fond memories of bike rides, picnics and walks there with people I adore.
What are you planning next, are you working on a new collection?
The new collection is designed and ready to go, I am really excited to have these pieces and photograph them. We launched with our classic but we had so many more ideas and now we are making those a reality. We have a cropped jumper and a cardigan coming and even though they are late (thank you Covid) all our pieces are designed to be timeless. So we are lucky like that compared to some other brands whose pieces may be out of fashion by the time they can get them to their customers.
Any tips for our readers whilst we are in doors and not much to do?
Use this time for yourself. In London especially its usually impossible to find time to be reflective, to practice our skills, to walk and read. Sometimes this stripped backed lifestyle can be restorative so make the most of it. I am refreshing my Italian, taking long walks everyday and getting a solid 8 hours sleep every night. As someone who has been working full time and running a company and (as you know) loves to be at every party this is a welcomed rest! I am also taking this time to plan the changes that I will carry back into normal life (whenever that happens). My main commitment so far has been to only buy from independent brands rather than chains, they are usually more sustainable and they give us diversity and a more equal economy.
Visit La Sororite to purchase your cashmere jumpers and socks