First, A Little About The Real Me…
My name is Melissa, I’m the founder of LOVETRUST, and I thought it was about time I shared more of my story. You may already know my name, but I don’t often share much about my personal life or where I started. Because to know that, is to know LOVETRUST, and if you’re anything like me, you want to know the who and the why behind the brands you follow and buy from.
First and foremost, I am a mom with two wild and loveable boys, Miles and Otis. When I’m not running the day to day of the brand or living mom-life, which is almost never, I love to go birding, listen to all types of music and podcasts, and maybe find some time to myself to read. I also love my friends and take any chance I can to grab a drink or head to the park with them…my friends have always made my life feel whole and are like family to me.
I am originally from Bellingham, Washington, a fact I am very proud of. There’s just something about being from the very top corner of the Pacific Northwest that sticks with you. The PNW is special place (IYKYK). I knew in high school that I wanted to be a fashion designer so during my senior year I applied and was accepted to FIDM in San Francisco. Although I feel like a nature kid at heart, I absolutely love living in the city! San Francisco really fueled my creativity and brought this shy kid out of her shell. I met so many amazing friends there and became a lot more social and aware of the world around me.
Ultimately my ambitions (and maybe a guy…who’s now my husband) brought me to New York City where I live in Brooklyn and feel a deep sense of belonging. In New York City I was really able to grow in my career. I eventually became the Design Director for a fast-paced, mass market apparel company where I oversaw 7 different labels. It was a lot. I still loved it and working there taught me a lot, including that I really did want to start my own line one day. I wanted to use my skills for my own brand, to have the freedom and independence to live on my own terms. The fashion industry can be pretty brutal and it’s easy to burn out from the long hours and daily criticism (something that’s common for women in most creative careers).
In 2014 I became a mom for the first time and despite loving my career, I just couldn’t balance it all. For us moms, having it all is a myth. After a year and half of working 10-hour days and then rushing home on the subway only to put my baby to bed, I knew I had to sacrifice my work for the time being. I wanted to experience being a mother and see all the little milestones my son was experiencing. So, I took a leap with the support of my husband and decided to be a stay-at-home mom for a time. Then came my second son and life truly was different. My body had changed, my priorities definitely changed and I felt like a completely different person…not necessarily in a good or bad way. My lifestyle and sense of self just looked so far away from who I thought I was. But I was still me…and I still loved fashion and being a designer. I knew I had to somehow get back to the middle. Not back to my 20 something self…just somewhere that felt more comfortable and familiar. I started working again and while I was designing, once again for other people, I knew I needed to finally start my own thing.
I also knew how important it was to me that whatever my endeavor was, it must be sustainable and mindfully produced. I have witnessed (and unfortunately been a part of) the extremely wasteful practices in fashion. Use of plastics disguised as pretty fabrics, mass production, even tons of waste at the development phase…it was so gross to me. I couldn’t start another clothing brand that was continuing this profit first, planet last way of doing business. Plus, I always had so much compassion and love for the women who work on the production lines and in the sample rooms. The aunties, mothers and grandmothers who are incredibly talented and often overlooked in fashion. They are skilled technicians and artisans performing a craft that is becoming a lost art. Garment making is skilled labor, something we need to appreciate more. I always thought they were the heart of fashion but unfortunately are often underpaid and overworked. It’s a terrible truth that I wanted to help change.
With that, I quit my job and started LOVETRUST. A sustainably and thoughtfully made clothing brand for women like me. Moms. Fashionistas who love comfort over everything else. Women who want a little edge or sexiness from their everyday t-shirt (but make it organic!) Women who need function and effortless style from their wardrobe so they can go to the playground with their kids, then to brunch with their girlfriends. Sometimes we want a pop of color, sometimes we want to wear all black — but we always want to look and feel confident, comfortable, and cool. And we want to leave a better world for our kids. And as a mother, I know you know that feels like an overwhelming and unattainable task these days. But we can still try.
So I’ll be over here in my little corner of fashion trying to do my part, bringing you along for the ride. It may be bumpy, and sometimes beautiful but you can bet we’ll have on a great playlist while wearing cool (comfortable) style!