Behind the Seams


About Dara Elliott, San Francisco-Based Curiosity Writer.

 

From Fashion PR to Minimalism

 

I began my career in the alluring world of fashion PR, where I picked up the habit of impulse shopping.

In 2014, I moved from New York to San Francisco with luggage and boxes filled to the brim.

After settling into the startup scene here in SF, I found myself wearing only a fraction of the pieces I had painfully lugged across the country.

This realization got me curious about minimalism.

I read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Greg McKeown's Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. I even gave uniform dressing and capsule wardrobes a try.

Among these perspectives, what really stuck was the idea of a creating an intentional wardrobe. Paring down my wardrobe gave me clarity on my personal style, getting dressed got simpler, and most notably, I became a deliberate shopper (yup, no more impulse purchases!).

 

The Aha Moment

 

Instead of aimlessly shopping, I made a list of the voids in my closet along with specific criteria I was looking for in each piece. On this list was an everyday jacket with the following criteria:

  • Must be versatile enough for work/life
  • Must be super comfy and easy to move in
  • Must be easy to care for (aka no dry cleaning, no fabrics that pill etc.)

I searched and searched. At the time, there was not a single brand dedicated to creating pieces that seamlessly transitioned from work to life.

Aha! It was time for a whole new category of clothing ––– workleisure

This sparked the beginning my entrepreneurial pursuit. Curious about what it'd be like to develop, launch, and build a brand from scratch, I set out to create the Do Anything Jacket.

 

Moto jackets made in San Francisco, at a women-owned factory

Building An Apparel Brand

 

On this design journey, I met an incredible team of San Francisco-based, women-led businesses.

I came across a local design studio and discovered Susan. We partnered to create the pattern for the jacket. She's a brilliant pattern maker, a genius at tailoring, and knows fit down to a science.

For production, I connected with Connie, a manufacturing fairy godmother, who's been making apparel in San Francisco for 30 years! She runs one of the only women-owned factories in the area and is known for her fair and ethical labor practices. In fact, most of her team has been with her since she opened shop!

It's was an incredibly rewarding experience to work alongside fellow small businesses and female founders to launch a Kickstarter campaign, and bring this idea to life.

Minimalist capsule wardrobe ethically and consciously made here in San Francisco
 

The Next Chapter

 

I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to build Brevity and meet wonderful people throughout this journey.

Brevity taught me to see life as a journey, and not a destination. It showed me that curiosity opens beautiful doors, and it's also okay to close those same doors when curiosity is leading your elsewhere. 

Right now, curiosity is leading me to my next chapter. Thank you all for being part of this one!

Dara Elliott SignatureDara Elliott | Brand Strategist