Kathryn and I are so lucky to own a small, female-led business that represents some of our most valued principles: equality and independence for women; a deep care and curiosity for the environment and the world we live in; and a respect for “slow production” – artisanal craftsmanship that supports the community in our backyard.
So how did we get here?
After Duke University graduation, I launched the brand from our sofa and convinced Kathryn to leave her high-paying Wall Street job to run the numbers here at Lizzie Fortunato. Fast forward ten years and while much has changed, much has remained the same: our business has grown, our styles have evolved, and we’ve added new faces to the team, but we still work in the Lower East Side, we still produce the vast majority of our product in New York, we still use reclaimed and hand-made materials, and more than ever we employ women – of all different ages, backgrounds, & skills – to bring my designs to life. I met Shannon – our head seamstress – on Craigslist 10 years ago when she was single and living in the East Village. Her son is now in 4th grade and she’s been working with me longer than Kathryn has.
Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the products inspired by – and designed for – the feminists, adventurers, and small business pioneers around us, as well as some ways for us all to get more involved.
Shop these (and all products) on our site this weekend & 15% of sales will be donated to the ACLU.
Who Inspires Us
Meryl Streep, who recently declared “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Rachel Antonoff, who has continually donated a percentage of the proceeds from her reproductive-system print to Planned Parenthood… Read about her and the other female-led brands who are raising money for the cause.
Hidden Figures, the movie that celebrates the minority women who did the math that put men on the moon. Here’s to women – of all race and background – in science.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestseller “We Should All Be Feminists”. The Nigerian author is beyond inspiring: lending her voice to Beyonce’s track and penning this definition of feminism in the twenty-first century.
How to Get Involved
Every Mother Counts: We love Christy Turlington’s non-profit, which is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother.
Girls Who Code: Supporting females in tech. YES!
Who (and What!) Inspires Us
Patagonia’s Mission Statement: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
This unprecedented give-back to our planet. We can’t think of a better recipient.
China’s recent ivory ban, a massive step in the reduction of elephant poaching.
Support the individuals who have had the courage and commitment to Stand With Standing Rock.
Small Steps Make a Big Difference
Bring your own shopping bags to the grocery.
Opt out of junk mail! Sign up for e-billing for everything.
Carry a reusable water bottle with you. Encourage your local gyms and exercise classes to eliminate disposable water bottles in favor of water fountains.
Pack your lunch in reusable containers.
Opt out of disposable straws and cutlery when ordering food online or getting takeout that you’re bringing home.
Skip the plastic produce bags! Your fruit can be friends with the other items in your canvas shopping bag.
For more: WWF’s guide to reducing your impact.
Who (& what) inspires the way we shop and what we buy
Caroline Z. Hurley, who set up a cottage industry of artisan block printers in New Bedford, Massachusetts
Osa Atoe, who made a small at-home ceramics studio for herself after becoming “obsessed with the medium.” The result? African and Native American-influenced, lead free and food safe pieces that are equally functional and beautiful.
The White House Week of Making
Chris Earl, the LA-based artist crafts exquisite furniture, ceramics and homewares, which reflect the wild nature and beauty of Papua New Guinea, where he grew up.