We had the good fortune of connecting with Lyndsey Cone and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lyndsey, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I knew from an early age that I could create something that made people feel something. It was time for me to be more hands on in using this to develop connections between myself, my work and my community/customers. The idea of Zero waste product, aside from environmental impact that the fashion industry is becoming known for- I believe adds character to my garments and is what makes them truly one of a kind. Those tiny improvisations made somewhere in the creative process or a mistake that has been corrected in an unexpected way, leads to a product even I couldn’t have foreseen. Sharing these stories, the process and my enthusiasm is how I know that I have landed in exactly the right place.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started sewing when I was 7, i was a competitive figure skater. The moms were always working on our costumes while we were in practice. It wasn’t uncommon for me to be caught bedazzling or sewing when I should have been in the rink! This hobby led to a small costume business that took me through college. I played it safe for 25 years working for established brands and ‘climbing the ladder’. It just didn’t feel important, it no longer brought me joy. It’s terrifying to leave a safe, stable career and step into the unknown. But it forced so much creative, professional and personal growth in ways I would have never known-well worth the leap of faith in all areas of my life! There was no question that this would be Zero waste product. From my experience, the bigger the job/company became -the cheaper the labor and the garments became. At this point we have almost all heard of disposable clothing. I believe that handmade items are more valued, more treasured, and more likely to create a feeling of community. So I’ve chosen to use all waste materials, deadstock fabric, vintage, thrifted etc. My work is definitely unexpected, I don’t really follow fashion brands and trends. I’m more inspired by the materials and what they look like they are meant to be. I will start with something in my mind and then say I run out of fabric or make a mistake, I’ll improvise and combine things I hadn’t ever thought to do put together.

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?
The beach, no question! If they were willing I love to take friends out for a surf, or a surf lesson. On the weekends I would take a friend to all of my favorite vintage markets of course (Melrose, Santa Monica, Venice, Silverlake). I also love a good thrift shopping day with friends. Going for drives or walks through different parts of the city are great, there is so much to see here in LA As you’re going through all the neighborhoods you are reminded of experiences here, and those stories are part of my life that I get to share. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give a Shoutout to all of the companies that I have worked for. I have learned so much over the years working in the fashion industry and for that I give credit my previous employers. My family and friends have encouraged and supported me immensely in making the decision to leave that career and start a small business of my own. Currently I sell at artists markets(Artist and Fleas, Venice and Santa Monica Airport Vintage Market). They hold space for myself and so many other small business owners, makers, and collectors. Market selling was an unexpected twist in what I saw for my company but I couldn’t be happier to be surrounded by so many inspiring, brave people.

Website: aiyiashop.com
Instagram: @aiyia___
Facebook: Aiyia

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