We had the good fortune of connecting with Harmony Pilobello and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harmony, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think about risk, I’m always thinking of multiple outcomes before deciding if something is worth it. I have to be okay with the worst, best, and mediocre outcomes before moving forward. In a way, risk-taking is something I’ve always embraced. I love finding creative solutions to problems, which often comes with being okay not knowing how things will turn out. I think being an entrepreneur really pushes that aspect to the max. Only someone comfortable with high risk would pursue the entrepreneurial path. In addition to that, we (Shilpa and I) decided to make something that wasn’t already in the market. Every day, we have to be okay with the worst possible outcome before moving forward. It’s a way of being prepared to shift decisions quickly as we navigate the unknown.
What should our readers know about your business?
Alterre is the brainchild of Shilpa Iyengar and Harmony Pilobello. The two met in New York at Parsons the New School for Design and collaborated on multiple capsule collections after graduating. In 2015, they successfully launched their first footwear collection during New York Fashion Week.
Over the years they have received international acclaim from major magazines such as Fast Company, Oprah (O), The Good Trade, and Footwear News. The company continues to grow with the combined fashion expertise of both partners. Shilpa specializes in womenswear/shoe design and Harmony specializes in trend research/sustainable design practices.
As busy boss ladies, they’ve made it their mission to design ethically made shoes that don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. They also donate 5% of profit to Restore NYC, which is a non-profit that provides long-term rehabilitation for victims of sex trafficking. Both founders are active in supporting female empowerment within the community and believe you can do good while feeling good.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Favorite Place to Eat right now: Thai Diner on Mott Street & Kenmare Favorite Place to Drink: Norwood Club (members only)
To Visit: Greenwood Cemetery to see all the historical figures and amazing Tiffany stained glass
To Hang Out: The Rockaways to Surf!
To Work: Luminary NYC
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?
We could not have made this journey without the support of my family, Shilpa’s family, and our networks. 2020 was particularly difficult for us and organizations like Luminary, which is founded by Cate Luzio, supported us with both skills and community as a female-founded, minority-owned small business. We also have some amazing mentors/consultants Laura Hall and Helaine Suval. Our cheerleaders in the background helping us grow wiser and stronger as a business.
Other: Clubhouse: @harmonysol
Photography: Harmony Pilobello, Shilpa Iyengar Bridesmaid Photos: Chris Glenn