Tee: Tapered Collection (c/o, previously seen here ) Jeans: Gap Necklace: similar Bracelets: Hermes, David Yurman Lips: Marc Jacobs in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Chair: Wayfair
Happy Monday! Excited to start off this new week with some inspiration from Astrid Glass, founder of the Tapered Collection– a Boston-based brand committed to bring us ladies the most comfortable and flattering tees possible. I’ve connected with so many amazing and hard-working entrepreneurs, like Astrid, through the blogging world and people like her inspire me to push for my goals each and every day. We can all use a little bit of that motivation on a Monday, am I right? Keep reading for the background on why Astrid started this fabulous line, plus her advice for anyone who wants to start their own business!
When did you start Tapered Collection?
AG:I starting thinking about starting Tapered Collection about three years ago, however it took forever to go from a home sewing tee to a true brand. I officially launched Tapered Collection on March 15 th of this year (2016). It’s been about nine months now and the business has really taken off!
What inspired you to start Tapered Collection?
AG: For years I had been continually frustrated by the lack of quality tees on the market. All of my tees were too sheer, lost shape, or were too clingy around the waistline (this is not ideal!). I began to play around with fabric and worked out a pattern that solved for that flattering silhouette and found substantial, well-produced cotton to use.
Your entire collection is made in the USA – in fact, right here in Massachusetts. Why is that important to you?
AG: At first, I will be honest, it wasn’t! However, it turned out to be the best thing for my brand. I interviewed manufacturers in NYC and was disappointed with the customer service. Finally, I found a great factory in Fall River and they got all the details right. They are a terrific partner because I can be there in an hour and solve any problems the same day. I can also really get to know the people who are making the clothes.
When did your love for women’s fashion begin and how?
AG: I’ve always loved fashion and sewing! I began sewing clothing around eight years old and participated in my first “fashion show” around ten years old. I learned early on how to sew and cut patterns and used that skill throughout college by helping out on local productions in the costume department. After school, I took a job with Prada in NYC as their PR Manager and LOVED learning from such a well-known brand. (Editor’s note: working for Prada? Can we talk about dream job?!)
What lessons did you learn working with other retailers that have helped you in starting your own business?
AG: At Prada, I learned how to create a brand and really stream that brand essence through the entire company. Her brand rigidity is what made Prada so successful and coveted. Everything from the water on the tables to the locks on the doors in each showroom and store around the world was exactly the same. In fact, if you lost a key we had to fly in a locksmith from Italy to fix it. Crazy, I know, but her vision was clear!
At RedEnvelope, which is a great gift company I worked at after Prada, I learned how to market through the Internet and still create a wonderful brand experience without a store presence. The signature red box and bow with excellent customer service and beautiful photography made you feel like you were experiencing the brand in person, even though it was through
a computer screen.
What personality trait of yours do you think makes you most successful as a business owner?
AG: Grit. I am willing to put in a lot of hard work and hustle to get this company off the ground. No job is too small, and I’m happy to do it all to make sure it gets done. Also, I found this is incredibly important to show my partners, as once they realized I was willing to step in and do some of the less attractive jobs along the way, they were willing 100% to put in the hours as well.
What was the hardest thing about starting Tapered Collection and why?
AG: Without a doubt, figuring out how to sell it! I stepped out of the workforce for 10 years while having children and everything had changed! Traditional media was GONE and retail was in decline. Bloggers and Social Media Influencers were a very new concept for me to understand and I’ve slowwwly been making progress on this front.
(Editor’s note: you are doing great, Astrid! Give her a follow on Instagram, friends: @taperedcollection
What is your favorite way to wear your Tapered tees?
AG: My favorite tee is the Black ¾ Sleeve Crew Neck and I wear it with dark denim and booties. I can wear it solo, or with a great blazer. Can’t go wrong with this look! Chic at any age, and any time.
If you could go back to the moment you decided to start Tapered Collection and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
AG: Buck up and buy more inventory Astrid! (Clearly I have underestimated because twice in nine months I’ve sold out of popular styles). However, there is always that bit of self-doubt that makes you worry you will be stuck with mounds of tees that no one wants at the end of the day! So far this hasn’t happened, but I’m sure it will.
What is your favorite thing about having your own business?
AG: Without a doubt, flexibility of hours and location. I can pick up my kids from school, and ship orders from my phone. It’s the best!
Where can we buy Tapered Collection tees and dresses?
AG: Currently online at www.TaperedCollection.com, however I’m hopeful for a Newbury Street Pop-Up this Spring/Summer! I am in talks with The Shop so let’s hope that happens!
(Editor’s note: fingers crossed for you, Astrid!)
Thanks for Astrid for being part of the Behind The Brand
series here on Boston Chic Party- make sure you check out her super comfy and classic collection