We had the good fortune of connecting with Isabel Muller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isabel, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I associate risks with “gut feelings” or intuition, which I think have driven most of my life and career decisions. For me, there seems to be a pretty noticeable categorization of making moves: 1) planning things out completely 2) planning things out a little, and 3) just going for it. I typically “do life” between #s 2 and 3. I have found that if I lived by #1, I’d never do anything out of the fear that comes with trying to master the future. I’ve learned to trust my intuition, and as cheesy as it sounds, live life like it may end tomorrow.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Swtch is a womxn’s underwear brand prioritizing sustainability, inclusivity, and womxn’s health. Our product is an eco-friendly sporty easy-change undie, with flat, flexible fasteners at each hip that make it simple to swap out. We’re a very small, bootstrapped startup based in Los Angeles. We launched in the pandemic last year so it’s been a wild, but super fulfilling journey. We’re different because our product is addressing a need that isn’t widely normalized; the need to change your underwear, especially on the go. We identify as “leak-positive” because we’re acknowledging that *YES* as womxn we have sweat, periods, discharge, pee, etc. throughout our days and not all of us want to ride it out in one pair. Swtch undies make it super easy to swap out your undies for a fresh pair; an incomparable feeling!! We aim to be size-inclusive and right now have an eight-size range. Our product is disability-inclusive, meaning it serves folx with certain disabilities interfering with dexterity or mobility, those who use wheelchairs, or those in recovery. We are proudly queer-founded (that’s me!) and it’s important to us to be inclusive of all womxn. We use the X to recognize all people with vulvas and advocate for the open discussion about our anatomies and sexualities. My background is in interior design, a business of mine I’m still happily running alongside Swtch to keep us in beans, rice, and software! It wasn’t a plan of mine to enter the apparel world, but I’ve always dreamed of this underwear for myself and knew it just had to exist. The day I decided to pursue these undies was a very big day, because I knew at some point I’d have to pause on my interiors career. Starting Swtch has been the biggest risk of my life: financially, emotionally, mentally, etc., but in a way, I’ve been preparing for it unknowingly. I think my taste for risks began in 2011, when I left western Massachusetts and drove out to California for sunnier skies. Since then it’s just been “move” after move, doing what felt best and right and making it work regardless of what little means I had. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is that it’s OK to ask for help, and it’s OK to ask others to support your dream. The good people in your life will surprise you. I’m hoping readers will finish this interview knowing that we want womxn to feel confident expressing their needs and honoring them. Prioritizing yourself with self-love and care lets you be the best person you can be. It takes us long enough to figure that out and we’re hoping this changes with every generation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take them up to the Angeles forest for camping and hiking. There’s nothing that has made me appreciate Los Angeles more than the mountains around it. Pandemic aside… Definitely get Belle’s Bagels every morning with some Cafe de Leche coffee… Hot Tub comedy night at the Virgil on Mondays… see some live music downtown… drive up to Malibu for beach time and then fish n’ chips at the Reel Inn… Definitely a karaoke night in little Tokyo. Maybe peep some turtles in Deb’s park. I love seeing what types of queer events are happening in the area; poetry readings, stand up, or art pop-ups. The LGBTQIA+ community in Los Angeles is incredible. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to all the womxn who have lent me their hands and hearts to build Swtch. Professionally, my product design specialist and development advisor Kay Marshall-Seidman deserves a HUGE shoutout. She was the first person on my team and the first business relationship to grow Swtch. She was 100% on board from the very start, and I wouldn’t have taken the leap to pursue Swtch in a real way if it hadn’t been for her enthusiasm and talent. Secondly, my family & partner. They’ve been by my side from the very beginning, and although likely terrified for me, they always have my back and trust my instincts.
Kyle Deven Instagram: @kdeven Website: www.kyledeven.com