We had the good fortune of connecting with Francine Day and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Francine, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The concept for our business came together organically. It was a lot of slow growth for my partner and I, which made us realize our corporate jobs were out of harmony with the rest of our lives. We needed to make a change. But, of course, that didn’t happen right away. We were both crazy busy with our careers and comfortable with the security they provided. The dream to build something around community and sustainability was an idea we often discussed without taking steps to pursue. But, it was during that time that the pieces began to come together. Mostly, we wanted to slow down – to have less and do more, to spend more time with our friends and less time in an office. To be a part of the slow fashion movement, rather than continue careers that promoted excess and consumerism. We were also becoming increasingly aware of emerging small businesses in San Diego focused on sustainability and locality, and we were eager to be a part of a movement that we saw as redefining success in a commercial world. It wasn’t until I listened to a podcast featuring climber Alex Honnold and learning about The Honnold Foundation which supports solar initiatives worldwide, that we had the missing puzzle piece we didn’t know we were looking for. We quit our jobs and put everything on the line to make Sun and Loom a reality. As we develop and grow our company, we aim to be intentional with how we operate. Working exclusively with local artists on our garments’ designs and choosing a San Diego manufacturer that offers sustainable and ethically sourced materials are our guiding principles. And with each sale we make, ten percent of the profits go to the Honnold Foundation to support their vision of an equitable future. We still have a lot of work to do, but the progress feels good, and our work has sparked a new passion in us that’s furthered our desire to grow.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Sun and Loom is an extension of what we care about and is deeply rooted in the ideals we have for a different kind of life. At its core, this brand celebrates California, the beauty of the deserts, redwoods, beaches, and mountains. For each campaign, we focus on a specific region of the state and work with California artists to create collections directly inspired by the area. With many of these artists, we’ve followed their journey for years, so to work with them is both exciting and rewarding. Throughout the process of creating this brand, we’ve learned to follow our instincts. It’s easy to get caught up with what other companies’ are doing, but by staying authentic to what resonates with us, we know we’re creating something unique.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s always fun having friends visit and getting the chance to show off what San Diego has to offer. Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality, and there’s so much to do for outdoor lovers. In Encinitas, we like to start our day at GOODONYA Organic Eatery, a fun place to bring friends for relaxed outdoor seating and neighborhood vibes. Then head to Beacons Beach, a local spot perfect for early morning dolphin spotting. For friends that love to surf, especially longboarders, Cardiff State Beach in Encinitas is a must-visit reef break. Our favorite place to bring friends to enjoy the sunset is the Meditation Gardens, where you overlook the water as the sun goes down. Friends visiting from out of town usually want to spend time at the beach, but it’s also worth driving east to visit the Santa Ysabel Nature Preserve for beautiful trails winding through wildflowers, oaks, and free-roaming cows. We sometimes will take our van, Bessie, there and spend the night. Stopping in Julian on our way back for apple donuts and coffee. For a night out, we like to either take our friends to the Roxy in Encinitas where there is almost always live music or head to North Park, a neighborhood with tons of energy and our favorite ramen spot, Tajima (try the Vegetable Gyoza). San Diego is special and it isn’t the typical tourist spots that capture it’s magic.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout the Honnold Foundation. It is inspiring to find an organization working towards real solutions to climate change through action and education while also providing immediate and long-lasting support to communities. The Honnold Foundation offers grants to fund solar projects that advance energy access all over the world. With each project, they aim to reduce environmental impact while increasing social and economic equity. It is their amazing work that gave Sun and Loom a direction and larger purpose and we are forever thankful for that inspiration.
Photographer, Vivian Kim