One of the things I love about running this site is the introduction to new brands doing amazing things. I am often swayed to purchase an item when I find that the founders have built their business in accordance with the general ethos of responsibility – when they give their time or profits to good causes on top of the work they already do to ensure their products are made ethically.
That’s why I was so excited to speak with the founders of DAAME earlier this week – when confronted with the issue that I know we all have had – the need for a beautiful, functional laptop bag – they decided to merge their strengths and create their own line.
DAAME was started with a great desire to support today’s woman with beautiful + functional products – and because the founders spend quite a bit of their personal time volunteering, they give 5% to non-profits that provide education for girls in need – so that they can kick-ass in life.
I think this is a cause we can all get behind!
For more businesses working to make the world a better place, also check out This Good World.
Follow DAAME and sign up for the newsletter for a credit towards a bag, new product updates, and more!
Grace Atwood is the blogger behind Stripes & Sequins, a fitness inspiration, and a talented DIY-er… and also Rebecca Atwood’s sister! I’ve loved Grace’s blog for years and was excited to see her favorite American-made picks… Thanks, Grace!
I discovered Heidi Merrick a few years ago – I remember seeing the Huntington dress on Shopbop and falling in love. I don’t even know if I realized that the dress was made in America – but I still remember it, and I still wish I’d bought it. As I started to follow Heidi’s blog and instagram account, I fell more in love with the brand – and the thought and care Heidi puts into her work. I have since added several pieces to my wardrobe – each piece inevitably becomes a favorite, worn again and again.
Heidi graciously agreed to take some time out of her day to meet with me when I was in LA… I was more than a little overwhelmed as I walked into her studio – it can be scary to meet people you’ve admired for so long! But Heidi is amazing. She emanates positive energy – I could have talked to her all day (or just moved into her incredible studio!) and I think about our conversation often. Heidi is incredibly real, smart, gorgeous, funny, and thoughtful – If i didn’t like her so much, it wouldn’t seem fair. What’s more, everything she does is is done with hard work and integrity. She doesn’t pretend her work is easy, or overemphasize it’s importance, but there is a clear mission and purpose behind what she does, and she acts accordingly. I left our meeting inspired and motivated – and just wanting to be better.
I always feel good when I wear Heidi’s clothes – the beautiful fabrics, impeccable cuts, and perfect little details will make anyone look and feel beautiful. But I’m also proud to wear Heidi Merrick – and to support an amazing, inspiring woman and maker. Thank you Heidi, for all that you do, and for taking the time to share your story – and incredible advice – with us!
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND:
My dad makes surfboards – I grew up in a manufacturing family. My parents never compromised – I watched that and learned from it. We lived a beautiful, pure life that they wanted to live. I want the same thing. I want to live a nice life.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
My wedding dress was the first piece I made – my mom sewed it. We draped it and then I shredded the silk organza! Then I went to LA Trade Tech where I learned to make clothes. The collection has grown really naturally over the last 9 years.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The juxtaposition of wearable and beautiful – it can be hard to find in fashion.
WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
I know that I will only do this while I want to do it. Life is more important than work.
In fashion, you have a community that is working so hard to make things happen. There are people you’ve worked with over the years that are always so happy to see you – and you find so much in common with people that you wouldn’t have known otherwise. This is the place that I feel most useful – even though so much of my work is done by myself.
WHO DO YOU DESIGN FOR?
My idea of the elevated CA lifestyle. How I want the world to look. What I want women to wear. You can feel like you have a super beautiful, super relaxed life here. You can be resorty in the day and elegant at night.
It’s also always been important to me to have price points that my friends can buy.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER MAKERS & CREATIVES?
You have to be ok with carving your own path. Responsible production takes a lot of constant assessment, you are constantly making and remaking a commitment to yourself.
The best investment you can make is in your domestic life.
Never buy anything less nice than than the nicest thing you own.
I hate that equality is something we still have to talk about. Think of all the good we (women, the entire human population, etc.) could be doing if we didn’t have to fight for basic things like equal pay or the ability to go to school.
I’m thankful that this site introduces me to amazing, incredible women who kick ass professionally and personally each day.
In that vein… a fairly random mix of serious and fun reads (and a podcast!) this week. All by women.
I’m also reading the actual #GirlBoss book right now… and loving it. Nasty Gal in general isn’t typically my taste (but I do love that you can enter “Made in America” in the search box and get legitimate results!) but Sophia Amorusa has a pretty incredible story.
Sarah Silverman on being an Actual, Full Grown Woman
Don’t lack initiative. People tell me, “I want to be a writer.” OK, then write. There’s no trick. No one’s gonna knock on your door and ask you to write. Just write, dummy. Put your 10,000 hours in (see: Malcolm Gladwell), and be undeniable.
Design*Sponge After the Jump: The Cost of Independent Design
A fascinating conversation between Grace, Claire Mazur of Of a Kind, and Kathryn Fortunato of Lizzie Fortunato Jewels on the true costs of independent design, why Lizzie Fortunato is still made in the US, and how important it is to support small designers.
Also, be sure to read my interview with Claire and her co-founder, Erica Cerulo.