We had the good fortune of connecting with Audrey Krugle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Audrey, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
To be honest, one of why life goals was to always have my own business, particularly a clothing line. From a very young age I was drawing fashion figures, cutting many a clothing items and designing my high school dance dresses. I didn’t even consider a university as I had already set my mind of fashion design school after high school. Obviously, its easier to have the dream than to make that dream come true so I worked retail and after a few years moved to LA as that seemed a more opportune place than Oregon to make a fashion career happen.
After working at a few long term jobs in fashion and jewelry while also freelance designing, I ALWAYS fell into taking on more responsibilities outside of my role and often times cared for the company and its success as if it were my own- to the point of badly stressing myself out taking care of someone else’s business that I was losing weight and hair at a very alarming rate. Not to mention for less than a small fraction of the price I was making the companies. Not saying everyone I worked for was awful, I worked for a couple of women CEO’s that inspired me to branch out on my own, or that all of the businesses were run poorly, but I did seem to choose a special amount of companies where I did way more than my fair share. And for that I am grateful because I learned everything about running a company, building websites, shipping, etc as well as finding and building relationships with vendors, printers and manufacturers.
I decided to start my own business because it was not only a lifelong goal but because I thought of a great concept and had learned first hand from an eclectic amount of companies and business owners how to launch it on my own terms. The timing seemed right.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I absolutely love my brand from designing the logo down to the nitty gritty details of selecting zipper lengths and answering customer service emails. It is still a young brand and has a lot of growing to do, but the sheer amount of loyal, repeat customers and the very small percentage of returns is rewarding. Knowing I am creating a quality, domestically sourced and ethically produced, small batch line that women enjoy is extra rewarding. Our motto is “not so basic” meaning we are a brand of basics that cares about our impact, the amount of times you wear the product, what our customers thinks, ethical practices in manufacturing and that you can wear our product from day to night, in or out- we aren’t an only wear at home, work from home, one and done basic.
It is not an easy road at all to start your own fashion business, especially when you are doing everything on your own. There are definitely times where I either want to pull my hair out or cry and in those times I just have to remember to breathe and that this is MY business and I can control it. One of my biggest challenges is asking for and hiring help. Because I am still a young, small business I assume I can take on everything in hope that all sales will go directly back to the company, but often time the stress of doing everything on my own from concept and design to marketing and shipping leaves me burnt out and not at all wanting to be creative. Owning a business is definitely a learning curve and has definitely pushed me outside of my boundaries.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Im a lover of food and drinks with friends so a typical week would include: Going hiking at Los Liones and after heading to Palisades Village to get a smoothie at Sunlife Organics (particularly the Green Man smoothie) and shop. Eating a good dinner and having one too many martinis at Craigs. Starting off one of our mornings with a trip to Blue Bottle to grab a latte before heading to my clothing manufacturer in Vernon. Grabbing a Flaca Margarita and taquitos from Javiers in Century City. An office day in Santa Monica with lunch at Bay Cities followed by a glass of wine at Wally’s. And definitely a trip to Erewhon for deli goods and snacks before hitting the beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have quite a good support group from good friends, family and my fíance to fellow business owners and old bosses that always told me I should have my own business. I am very lucky in that regard.
I also think much of the credit for me finally starting my own business should be given to the few extra hard to work for companies and bosses that made me crazy and helped me learn exactly what not to do in business. I learned so much about work environments, ethics, loyalty and how to make or break connections through these roles.
Other: TIKTOK @BLACKWHITEBEIGE
Jessica Vaughan Susanna Kindt Audrey Krugle