About Our Founder
Why did you decide to make basics?
I adore that fashion is art that we can wear! I appreciate all types of fashion, and find myself especially inspired by haute couture. But when I think about what mark I want to leave on the fashion world, I want it to be in people's every day lives. There's a subtle art to designing something that people will invite into their routine to love and use every day. I'm intrigued by the challenge of that! I also love that designing basics provides me with a large platform to promote my message that the fashion industry can change for the better. Everybody needs basics, and every piece that someone purchases from The Source is part of making fashion better.
Friendly to the planet...that can be a tough proposition in fashion, and especially in athleisure. Why did you decide to take on that challenge?
As a child growing up in Southern California, I was exposed to environmentalism early and often. Conservation and recycling were taught in school right alongside math and science: turn off the lights, use less water, return those bottles and cans! At the same time, I developed a true love for the natural world, informed largely by my long summer days at the beach and friendships with the animals in my life. I’ve carried the lessons from those experiences with me ever since.
So that's all well and good for my personal life choices, but my passion for sustainability became even stronger after I became a nurse practitioner. I realized that individual change isn't enough; we have to change things at the systemic level. When I was practicing in medicine, I quickly decided that treating symptoms wasn’t enough; I always wanted to understand the root cause of every disease or ailment. Once I began approaching medicine this way, I discovered that most of my patients’ health issues were related to environmental imbalances. Then came an important epiphany: What is good for people is good for the planet, and vice versa. Healing ourselves cannot happen without healing the planet. I didn't feel good about running a company that didn't try to do its best by people and planet.
The industry finds so many ways to NOT do well by people and planet. Making clothes can be horrendously harmful to both! How are you working to be different?
By the time I made the transition from healthcare to fashion, I had come to see that sustainability is just one important piece of the onus that's on all businesses to operate responsibly. No company should achieve success by exploiting the Earth or its people. I wanted The Source to place a high value on the physical and emotional health of everyone we touch. That’s why I chose to make my clothing here in Los Angeles, where I live and work. It’s important to me to have the opportunity to visit the factories and suppliers that make our products, talk to the owners, and ensure that the workers are being treated well.
Taking a size-inclusive approach is much more work for you as the designer. Why the choice to take on such a challenging approach right as you launch?
In addition to giving me insight on how we treat others and the world around us, my former career also taught me so much about how important it is to treat ourselves well. I saw that especially through the lens of nutrition and metabolism, where I spent the majority of my years in healthcare. Importantly, I discovered that conventional medicine often has a skewed perspective on metabolism and weight balance -- a perspective I feel stems from a cultural bias against certain body shapes and sizes.
Working in nutrition medicine taught me the importance of having a peaceful relationship with one’s own body -- and that this kind of relationship is available to each of us, in whatever body we have right now. I realized that the greatest good I could do was not to help my patients understand nutrients or set goals; it was to help them find a loving peace with their bodies and live into the possibilities that open up when that peace is present. And I’m excited to continue this journey as a designer. Because nobody really knows what size or shape a body is supposed to be! My goal with The Source is to make clothes that work for many different people -- clothes that help them feel comfortable and confident in the body they have. We’re starting with sizes XS-3X, and we plan to add more in the future! As women, we are told to spend so much energy hating, fighting, examining, and trying to change our bodies. Imagine how powerful it would be if we spent that effort on things that bring joy and progress to ourselves and the world around us! I want to be part of helping shift where women spend their energy.
Designing clothes to help women be their best...how did that come to be important to you?
To me, feminism means recognizing all the amazing things that women add to the harmony and well-being of the world, and working tirelessly to ensure that we are properly valued for our strength and our contributions. Throughout history, masculine traits have been revered in a way that feminine characteristics and behaviors simply have not. I believe we must bring that recognition into balance in order for humanity to move forward as powerfully as possible. Identifying, valuing, and promoting feminine traits is crucial to resolving all of our biggest challenges today: social justice, environmental preservation, socio-political conflict, and human health.
I strive to empower and recognize women in every aspect of The Source: design, business practices, partnerships, and marketing. This company is truly a reflection and an extension of my own deeply-held values.