HDH Swim

It’s funny that I’ve yet to officially feature Hackwith Design House on TAE. Today, Lisa is a close friend, collaborator, and studio mate. However, we only actually met in the fall of 2013, when I profiled her collaboration with Parc Boutique. Since then, our attempts at a feature have gotten side-tracked by opening a studio, collaborating on the HDH for Wilson & Willy’s collection, and Hackwith Design House’s incredible growth, but as the team began to launch their third collection, HDH SWIM, I knew it was time to share a little bit more about Lisa and the incredible business she has built.

What impresses me most about Lisa is her ability to take action. The more I learn as an entrepreneur, the more I realize that while ideas have value, the ability to take action is priceless and what leads to success. Lisa and her incredible team exemplify this every day – they legitimately get shit done so quickly it makes my head spin. And this isn’t shoddy work they are putting out there – there is attention to detail and care evident in every HDH piece, and I’ve watched the team re-work and learn techniques and processes over the last year to ensure that the products you buy are incredibly well made and long-lasting. The focus on quality is even more obvious in the HDH SWIM collection, which Lisa designed to work on most body types. Like most women, I’m never a fan of trying on bathing suits, but seeing this collection on two different, beautiful models helped me to understand what would work for me – and helped me to feel better about the overall process.

Read on for more from Lisa…

HDH Swim made in USA


My background is in studio art. I took a year off after college, and I planned to go back to get my MFA, but during that year, I began sewing and realized I’d found my medium – designing and making clothes.


I built the business model for HDH centered around my priorities: staying in the Twin Cities, manufacturing all the clothing in the U.S., and making sure I love everything with my name on it. The limited-edition model of my weekly releases allows me to do all three of those things. HDH has grown a lot since then: I have a business partner and 3 full-time seamstresses. HDH also has two lines in addition to our limited-edition releases: HDH Basics and HDH Swim. All of this growth, however, still centers around what makes HDH work: beautiful, quality clothing made in the U.S.

HDH Swim made in USA


I design for women who want to feel confident in what they wear so they can focus on the more important aspects of their day: performing well at work, a night out with friends, time spent with family.


I always had a hard time finding a swimsuit that was both stylish and flattering. I eventually made myself the swimsuit I couldn’t find. I realized that other women might be having the same problem, and I loved the idea of making their new, favorite swimsuit.
HDH Swim made in USA


I love styling with Sven Clogs and of course any of the makers from our Makers Alongside Hackwith Design House collaborations.


I have a much easier time spending more on quality products made by small businesses. While the investment can be more up front, I have learned that it pays off in the long run. And purchasing items from like-minded makers and small business owners both helps the local economy while ensuring I receive a product I can use and enjoy for a long time.


I have been lucky to meet some really incredible people through Instagram. For all its faults, social media can be a really positive force and help one meet other people who are working hard to accomplish really cool things. Kate from Na Nin, for instance, has become a really good friend of mine, and we only met because we liked each other’s IG feeds.

HDH Swim made in USA


I really love what I do, so that makes it pretty easy to get up every morning and come in to work. It’s so fun for me to create clothing that I hope women feel confident and beautiful while wearing. I am also driven to maintain a company that is both forward thinking while staying true to our values.


I feel so incredibly blessed that I get to spend each day doing what I love. On top of that, I am fortunate to work with our incredibly talented seamstresses and one of my closest friends came on as my business partner.


First off, you have to put in the work, research, and training prior to starting a small business. While HDH’s current iteration started in September 2013, I actually spent five years prior to that sewing and designing on a daily basis in addition to thinking about my business plan. Because I had that background, I was able to trust my instincts when it came to starting the new business model. I also was fortunate to get great advice from and surround myself with people smarter than I. I have found that trusting your instincts, taking risks, listening to others smarter than you, and working hard are all key ingredients to building a small business.

HDH Swim made in USA

Images for HDH by Paul Vincent
Hackwith Design House is a TAE A-List Brand.
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An American made giveaway

My friends at Tradlands make pretty awesome button down shirts for women. I featured the brand soon after launching TAE and have kept up with Sadie and Jeremy along the way – they are incredible people who are so passionate about what they do.

This week, they have teamed up with Appalatch, Archival Clothing, and Gamine Co. to offer an American-made giveaway package, valued at $600. One winner will receive the following:

Archival Clothing: Waxed Twill Shoulder Tote in Navy ($240)
Appalatch: The Purl Scarf ($90)
Gamine Co. x Jungmaven: Hemp & Fleece Raglan in Indigo ($90)
Tradlands: A button-up shirt of the winner’s choice ($170)

you know you want to.
enter to win!


(images c/o Tradlands)

Why do you manufacture in America?

Buying American made has become such a part of my life that I’ve found myself struggling to explain myself – I tend to be incredibly inarticulate about things I am passionate about and frequently end up stumbling all over my explanation. Not ideal. Thankfully, many of my favorite makers were far more articulate when I asked them why they chose to manufacture in America.

It is so satisfying to be able to provide jobs and keep people in business. We love to support our local economy and fellow artisans. We appreciate the ability to oversee our manufacturing and quality. Also, the relationships we’ve made are the best part of what we do – there is a human side of manufacturing, and we believe that is translated into what you wear.
The Podolls

We wanted to keep our ethics in tact. We don’t take the easy route. We had to try it – and make it work. People are starting to care about made in the USA. We can make a difference. We care about what we buy. We believe in a local economy and less environmental impact. America is young and quilts are a deep part of American history. Our families have quilted for generations. Staying here felt right. It also allows us to make sure our products meet our standards – quality control would be incredibly difficult overseas. We like to see the people we work with – we get to know them and build relationships with them.
Hopewell Workshop

To me there is no other choice. I believe in the country and as we grow, we give many people opportunities here. I’ve seen too many people lose their jobs, end up in a rut and see their futures get whittled down. A little bit of effort can help people make a better living and live better lives. Why wouldn’t we try 100% to do that?
Conway Electric

Too many reasons to mention – but mainly because I can guarantee the quality of everything I produce locally. Every product I sell is sewn here in LA, either by me, or by my sewing assistant who works from her sewing studio just a few miles away.
Cotton & Flax

I believe in keeping the production of P&O items American-made to help our local and national economy and I am able to control the quality of my goods by keeping them local. If everyone spent 5% more on US made products, we could create 1 million jobs.
Preston & Olivia

We’re proud to support our domestic garment industry.

For every $1 OF GOODS produced in the USA, an additional $1.43 is generated for the economy. It can be really, really hard to produce in America, but it’s easier to create beauty products than some other products. The more we support domestic production, the more it will grow.
One Love Organics & S.W. Basics – Why beauty products should be American Made

A New Year, Some Old Advice.

I spent the last few weeks thinking, and reading, and talking, and spending very little time on the internet. I didn’t answer emails, I didn’t check twitter, and I didn’t work, even when the urge struck. I spent much of 2014 feeling like a hamster on a wheel, always working but seemingly getting nowhere, and I needed a break. I needed to allow myself to be bored.

After two weeks off, you’d think I’d be ready to get back to it – the first Monday after the new year seems to be the true New Years Day when it comes to resolutions, doesn’t it? But I’m feeling a bit slow today and judging from my instagram feed, I am not the only one. I spent some time looking back on the last year of posts this morning… and found myself scrolling through the maker and brand interviews to get to the advice. I’m feeling a little more motivated, and I hope you’ll feel the same. Happy New Year!

“School, workshops, and internships are great as a jumping off point but there is no substitute for getting out there and doing. You’ll fail often that but that’s when you’ll learn the most.”
CAM Jewelry

“Making is great but if you want to make a living you must find a market that wants what you’re making and you have to figure out how to get your stuff to that market. If you can do that you will be more successful than your wildest dreams. If you’re out there struggling, reach out to people and ask for help. People want to help and want you to succeed.”
Conway Electric

Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you believe in your idea and think you have what it takes to get it done, go for it! But be prepared because once you launch, your business is your baby – it’s wonderful, but it will take everything you have.”
Common Good

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.”
Heidi Merrick

“Find a group of supportive makers and creatives, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Other makers in your community have a wealth of knowledge, even if they are working in an entirely different medium than yours. Finding a like-minded group of creative friends can be a life-saver when you run a creative business, and most people are more than happy to lend a hand when they can.”
Cotton & Flax

“Take a leap of faith. It’s what life is all about and even if something does not work out, you will have learned from it and that means you’re growing and changing. If we’re stagnant, we’re nothing. Your instincts are usually right.”
Pierrepont Hicks

“Listen to your gut and do what feels right to you – never lose sight of your vision.”

“‘Don’t give up’ covers a lot… Sometimes you just have to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and that can truly help.”
Maison du Soir