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

Hi Puja, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Interestingly, 90% or more of the outdoor brands are started and run by men. Men are fantastic, but when it comes to designing options for women’s gear and clothing, there are very few women who are actually involved in the top-level process. When designing for women’s apparel, there’s an industry term called “shrink it an pink it” and that’s how they design women’s outdoor gear. Design for men, then make it smaller and change the color.

What should our readers know about your business?
I started Drifted because I noticed a gap in the market. There were tons of women who loved to travel and be outdoorsy, and at the same time valued style – but the outdoor apparel wasn’t made to be stylish or fit a woman’s body well. I remember reaching out to a couple of the big outdoor brands, and talking with their design team, telling them it would be awesome if we could have better looking clothing that fit us – the current stuff was making us look very masculine and boxy. Surprisingly, nothing was done about it. So that’s when I decided, let’s give it a shot.

When I was planning the business as I was first designing the line, it was clear as day how simple it was going to be. Make amazing clothes that are functional, stylish and quality. Send them to editors, influencers, run ads, setup popup shops and viola – it’ll be an overnight success. Well, two things were wrong with that – 1) covid hit and 2) it actually takes a lot of time for things businesses to gain awareness. The hardest part I faced was dealing with the massive, and I mean massive, budget that’s required to run ads. Literally my entire startup fund would be wiped away with 3 months of ads. So, I had to get more creative in getting awareness out there. It was very challenging to figure out how to spur awareness without dumping tons of money into FB or Google Ads. Luckily, we tapped into our community and started working with ambassadors, hiking leaders, sponsoring local events, which generated a lot of interest in Drifted.

We’re a small brand – it started with me, and now we’re building our team. What I’ve learned is that slow and steady is the healthy way to run a business. We’re so in awe of these hot-shot brands that come out the gate with massive marketing, huge stores and a lot of hype – but when you look closer and you keep your eye on that brand for any amount of time, you start to see that the hype dies down, the funding runs out and the marketing gets stale. And the brand disappears. It’s happened time and time again. But the brands that we all love and know so well are ones that started slowly, built their communities and didn’t try to be everything all at once. My biggest lesson is, focus on the long term.

Drifted is here because I want women to feel like they can take charge and bring their friends, family, kids, dogs, anyone into nature. So they can build a community of healthy, happy people that come together through shared adventures and getting back to the land. It’s so important for all ages, backgrounds and economic resources to experience the outdoors and connect with nature. It’s the cheapest and most rich entertainment you can ever experience. And I think women are astounding at gathering people together.

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.
Well, I’m in LA so…

Day 1:
Santa Monica Farmers market for breakfast
Hop into a yoga class
Freshen up and head to Malibu for a Bike Ride + Wine Tasting Tour
Early Sunset Dinner at Soho House Malibu

Day 2:
Early morning head to the flower market in DTLA
Spend the morning making exquisite floral arrangements that we can gift to neighbors or keep ourselves
Grab a casual lunch at Santa Monica Seafood Co.
Head to Topanga for a trail ride/Horse back ride
Wash up at the spa – I like the Lowes or a solid Korean Spa
Head to WeHo for dinner at Cecconis
Catch a comedy show at the Improv

Day 3:
Long day trip to the Channel Island
Kayaking through the channel islands
Head back to LA, have a laid back dinner at In-n-Out
Watch a movie and pass out

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So many people! Nichole Blackburn for being my Monday morning calls to keep me motivated and be a sounding board. Joe from @vuoriclothing for giving me tons of insight and helping support me as I navigated through new territory. Daniela Bascunan for turning the light on for me and helping me create a supply chain. Alaina Anderozzi and Ashley for making sense of the huge marketing world. Bradee Smith for helping bring the brand to life online. My manufacturing partners for taking a chance on a big idea, with a small budget. My mom for watching my son, my husband for being a cheerleader and all my girlfriends for buying a pair when we first launched!!

Website: www.drifted.co

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/driftedco/?hl=en

Linkedin: driftedco

Twitter: driftedco

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/driftedco/

Image Credits

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