After almost six years (not including a summer internship), my corporate mass retail career has come to a close so that I may devote all my time and energy (minus a part-time job to keep food on the table) to making HAZEL & ROSE happen.
This move was not an easy one to make. Despite the common complaints that come with corporate jobs, I really liked what I was doing. I liked the brand I represented, I liked the connection with the product, and I liked the people with which I worked. I learned so much during my time in corporate retail, and I know that, were I to stay longer, I would learn a lot more. But I also know that the time is now to make my dream of owning my own store a reality.
I've been interested in fashion (which always sounds cliche to me - "I LOVE FASHION" - but I promise it's true) for as long as I can remember. Playing with Barbies as a child did not mean acting out domestic scenes, it meant styling new outfit combinations and restyling and then putting away. In middle school, I raced through my Mad Math quizzes not just because of my competitive nature, but also because the faster I completed that quiz, the more time I had to sketch the latest outfit that had entered my ten-year-old brain. I spent my free time in high school scouring the local thrift and antique stores for one-of-a-kind finds. A career in fashion seemed to be a given, and the idea that I would one day have my own shop was always in my mind.
For a long time, this future shop of mine didn't exist for another few decades, after my future kids were out of the house and we'd saved enough that I didn't need to work, but I wanted to keep busy with a passion project. But the more I thought about having my own shop, the more I realized I wanted it now.
A lightbulb went off in the spring of 2014, when I attended a Q&A session with a number of CEOs of sustainably-minded companies like Method and Burt's Bees (one of many perks of working for a corporate retailer). As they shared their stories of why they were so devoted to giving consumers an alternative to harsh chemicals and environmentally-damaging ingredients, I realized that I wanted the passion that they had. I wanted to take something that I loved, and make it evenbetter for, well, everyone.
I began to research sustainable fashion. At first, I didn't really know if sustainable fashion was a "thing" beyond brands like TOMS or products like basic organic cotton T-shirts, but the more I read, the more excited I became. Sustainable fashion was not only a "thing", it was a big thing. A thing that was increasing in importance by the day as fast fashion became more and more prevalent. I realized that I can build a shop that is comprised solely of beautifully crafted and fashionable sustainable goods, and I couldn't wait.
So, after months of planning and discussing with my family just how I'm going to make this happen, I am taking a leap, and I'm sharing it with you. I want HAZEL & ROSE to be a place that fosters authenticity, and that starts now, at the very beginning. As the shop progresses, I will keep this space updated (along with all of the social media, of course), but I also encourage you to sign up for the mailing list if you want to be the first to hear even more about what's happening as HAZEL & ROSE is being built.
Here we go.