If you followed my Vacation Capsule Wardrome posts on Instagram (@kariannafrey,) you most likely noticed a beautiful, multi-purpose, chiffon shawl. You also might have caught a feature on the Today Show featuring this chic and functional summer garment.
I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Cruz, the co-founder of Shawl Dawls, at a local Pasadena library and I instantly fell in love with the multi-purpose shawls right away! I sat down with Julie this summer, at the San Dimas office, to pick her brain about the origin of Shawl Dawls and ways to support other women entreprenuers in your life!
(Best) Bib and Tucker (BBT): When did ShawlDawls officially begin?
BBT: I’m totally digging my long shawls and I have my eye on the poncho next. But I’m curious, how did the idea come to light?
JC: The seed to start a fashion line was planted by a co-worker, remarking that I should start a line highlighting the petite form. I met my business partner, Roshena [Chadha,] while we were both working in the corporate fashion world and found that we were complementary business partners. (She attended FIT (Fashion Institue of Technology) in New York.) Roshena and I threw a bunch of ideas at the wall, knowing that we wanted a garment that was practical, fashionable, versatile and would fit all sizes. I am 4’11” while Roshena is the opposite of me at 5’10”. Our goal was to create a garment that all women could wear, petite to tall, slender to curvy and thus ShawlDawls was born!
BBT: Did you always plan on being a fashion designer?
JC: No, fashion was not even on my radar. I went to UC-Irvine but had no idea what I wanted to do with my career. After graduation, I decided to attend FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and earned a degree in Apparal Manufacturing Management after a year.
BBT: It sounds like a business mind comes naturally to you. What has been the most challenging thing about starting a line?
JC: Cash Flow timing, for sure. It’s such a delicate balance in timing when and how the money flows in and flows out. One unique thing about the ShawlDawls line is that we did not have to buy samples. Traditionaly, after designing the designer has to create samples that then lead to orders that then lead to large scale production with minimums. Because our design is simple, we could by-pass the need for traditional samples. Our shawls are designed and made here in Los Angeles and we do all of our shipping in house, which does help cut down on overhead.
BBT: Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
JC: Have a great plan in place before beginning, network with others and above all have Faith and pray!
BBT: One last question, any chance of there being ShawlDawls for kids?
Now for the fun! You have a chance to win your own Shawl Dawls shawl (with a value of up to $68)!
1. Head over to Pinterest
3. Create a board showing your personal style. In your pin description, share how a Shawl Dawls shawl will add to your looks. Use the hashtags #ShawlDawls and #BestBibShawlStyle in your description. Be sure to comment here with your Pin Board address!
4. The winner will best show how a Shawl Dawls shawl will add style to ANY woman’s wardrobe.
5. Winner will be chosen on or after September 30 2015.