30 Under 30 Makers + Shakers: Fashion, Beauty and Jewelry
Categories: Brit's Blog

30 Under 30 Makers + Shakers: Fashion, Beauty and Jewelry

By now, most of you are probably familiar with our Meet the Maker series. It’s been a great way to get to know so many of the makers and designers in our community over the past few years. Today, we’re excited to continue featuring these talented makers in a new series, Makers + Shakers!

Over the next few weeks, we’re teaming up with PayPal to introduce you to 30 makers under 30 who are shaking up their respective industries. People’s lives can (and should) be more connected, which is why PayPal is working to create new ways for makers to connect. After all, technology doesn’t make the world go round, people do. Be sure to check out PayPal’s Voices video, in which they highlight what they’ve described as the new People Economy.

Now, onto this first batch of incredibly talented makers. This post is all about folks in the fashion, beauty and jewelry industry, and we can’t wait to introduce them to you!

Rachel Gant, 26

Rachel is the co-founder of Yield Design Co. She and her business partner, Andrew Deming, are on a mission to create a range of goods that “balance progressive and innovative design alongside thoughtful craft and ethical production.” We’re head over heels for their totes, rings, and everything else.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make. 

To celebrate life through form.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Traveling. Whether it’s just an hour away or a different country, introducing myself to new places and people lets me observe the world in a new light that leads to sudden inspirations of new concepts and forms. The origins of my best designs seem to just dawn on me while on vacation or taking a break — it’s more important than you think!

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology (3D printing in particular) has provided some of the most incredibly important tools and inspirations for my latest work. With the Endswell Collection of solid gold rings for example, I’ve designed and 3D-printed pieces from CAD which are cast in gold and then hand-finished in the traditional methods. A few pieces are actually mobius strips (infinite surfaces) that I would have never envisioned by hand. Being at the forefront of these new technologies has been an amazing exploration that will never replace prototyping and designing with your hands, but provides a whole new extension to that process that allows for faster iterations, more refined details, and an accessible process of manufacturing with seemingly endless possibilities. (Photos: Joshua Weaver, Yield Design Co.)

Aubrie Pagano, 28

Aubrie is the founder and CEO of Bow & Drape, an online platform for custom fashion. Every piece on her site can be personalized to fit your tastes and is then made-to-order in less than two weeks. Ah-mazing.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Custom clothes with personality.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From my surroundings, including the immaterial: ideas, expressions, the internet. Living in New York is like living in an Instagram feed. It’s like Chanel said: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology lets women fall in love with the Bow & Drape products they build. Our customization technology allows women to see their actual, photo-realistic designs as they customize them. Kind of like a virtual Build-A-Bear for fashion. Anyone who purchases from us must use our technology to design and receive their product; it’s essential to what we do. (Photos: Bow & Drape, Brit + Co)

Christine Trac, 30

Christine is the founder of jewelry company Abacus Row. We’re constantly swooning over her simple and versatile pieces. Pro tip: These friendship bracelets are the perfect stocking stuffers!

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Because my ideas are good ;)

Where do you get your inspiration?

In everyday moments — the familiar and unexpected patterns and elements that emerge from repetition and routine.

How has technology changed and supported what you do? 

Without technology, my business would be much more localized. It gives me a platform to share my work and my story with a global audience. Technology has sparked connections, helping me build a relationship and a community with my customers and fellow makers, remotely. (Photos: Sarah Deragon, Abacus Row)

Alma Hartman, 24

Alma is the co-founder of Rock + Pillar Trading Co. Alma and her business partner, Parvez Pothiawala, source handmade products from Peru and sell them here in the States. They utilize the proceeds to help establish sustainable practices for artisanal communities.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Creating is pure freedom.

Where do you get your inspiration?

We get our inspiration from the often overlooked parts of our society and world. Right now it’s the West Indian shops and bodegas in Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn. Four months ago it was the backcountry of Cusco, Peru and the mammis in adobe houses tending their livestock, children and homes.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology is the core of our business. We manage our storefront and inventory through e-commerce platforms. Our marketing and PR is done completely via digital channels. Simply put, technology is the vessel that allows our business to flourish. (Photos: Alma Hartman, Rock + Pillar Trading Co.)

Oliver Shuttlesworth, 27

Oliver is the founder of Austin-based Esperos Bags. His handmade bags look good *and* do good. With every bag purchased, Esperos helps send a child in need to school for a year. We can DEFINITELY get behind that.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

I get to change lives.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I do a lot of people-watching and take note of how people interact with their bag. If it is a well-designed bag (or any other product, for that matter), it should be so easy to use that you could do it in your sleep. I have an architectural bent toward design, striving to create timeless and utilitarian products that everyone can enjoy. Some of my favorite bags are from Jack Spade, Filson, and MRKT.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology has made it really easy to connect with our customers. We leverage social media to build community and drive word of mouth marketing. We use a very intuitive back end website host and support system that allows us to focus less of our time on site maintenance and more of our time on our mission. Plainly, technology has allowed us to “run with the big dogs.” Without it, I’m not sure we would have been able to do so. (Photos: Ashley Landis, Esperos Bags)

Jess Decelle, 28

Jess is the founder of Fox & Brie. She makes neckties, bow ties and other men’s accessories in her Austin studio. Her handcrafted pieces are charming and simply rustic. We love this chambray number.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Idle hands are boring!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Since the fabrics I work with are primarily vintage, I draw most of my inspiration from the materials I find. I love the idea of giving new life to a forgotten piece of material from a past era. The fabrics bring their own stories with them and I’m honored to continue the tale.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

To be able to share my work with individuals all over the world… that’s something special. Technology, especially social media, allows me to connect with my customers in a way that just wasn’t possible in the past. I’m able to not only share my work with others, but also my life. (Photos: Jess Decelle)

Westley Nunn, 29

Westley is the co-founder of 1.61 Soft Goods, a leather goods company based in LA. Westley and his co-founder, Diana Wu, continuously blow us away with their craftsmanship and cool aesthetic. Need proof? Just take a look at this sleek iPad case.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Sense of purpose drives 1.61.

Where do you get your inspiration? 

Inspiration came from our grandparents. They didn’t grow up in a “buy it, use it, break it, replace it” culture. They would buy something because it would last a lifetime or because it did its job well. In the workshop we are using my grandparents’ refrigerator they bought in the ’50s, and it works as well as the day they bought it. We design our products to be repaired, not replaced. We try to feature beauty in utility. If it is on our product, it has a purpose.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology has enabled us to reach a wider audience faster, and go from sketch to production in a matter of weeks. Technology has accelerated the pace of our business. (Photos: Westley Nunn)

Courtney Poole, 27

Courtney is the founder of Uganda-based design studio Rose & Fitzgerald. We can’t get enough of Courtney’s gorgeous pieces, from ceramic bowls and candle holders to necklaces and bangles. We especially love her use of indigenous materials.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Creating makes me feel alive.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Living and working in Uganda is a constant adventure. Whether it be driving through the chaos of the city, walking through overcrowded markets, or taking in the beauty of my adopted home, there is never a dull moment. My inspiration comes in so many forms, and I feel constantly stimulated by my surroundings. My husband and I travel a great deal, and the new places and stunning natural beauty of forests, ancient crater lakes, animals on safari, and hikes through the jungle are all huge sources of creativity for me.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

By linking the rare talent and craft of our artisans in Uganda with the competitive global marketplace, we hope to share with our customers the value of handmade products that carry with them a life and a story from far-away places. However, this is only made possible through technology; it is at the root of everything we do. Technology allows us to host and sell products via our e-commerce website and shop. It allows us to share the craftsmanship and rich history as well as the personal journey and inspiration behind each of our products, through our social media platforms and blog. We live in such a special time, where technology allows us to connect with people, cultures, and goods that we otherwise would never get the chance to experience and appreciate – and I’m so thankful I get to take part in such a special way. (Photos: Hazel & Pine, Rose & Fitzgerald)

Tracey Ko, 30

Tracey is the founder of Buluchu, a design studio based in SF. She makes gorgeous leather bags and accessories that are the perfect blend of function and style.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Like a dog with a bone, I just cannot let it go.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Frankly, a little bit of everything. Sometimes it is a trip abroad, sometimes it is a conversation with someone I came across, sometimes it (an idea/thought) just hits me. It’s hard to pinpoint a person, a place, or a thing.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Let’s just say that without modern day technology, I would not have been able to do what I am doing right now. (Photos: Tracey Ko)

Hana Brewster, 27

Hana is the founder of A Quiet Curiosity. She makes bright and colorful jewelry in her Little Rock studio, and we can’t get enough of it! This ombre beaded statement necklace is one of our favorites here at Brit HQ.

In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.

Creating helps me thrive.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I find inspiration in many things. Color, pattern, geometric shapes, and even the materials themselves all contribute to each piece I create.

How has technology changed and supported what you do?

Technology has allowed me to share my work with the world. Online selling platforms, such as Brit + Co Shop and Etsy, have provided opportunities that I never would have had otherwise. Social media has also played a huge role in helping me to connect with potential customers and other creatives that support my work. These things have made it possible for me to follow my passion and bring joy to others through my creations. (Photos: Hana Brewster)

What do YOU think of these makers and shakers? Drop us a line on Twitter!

This post is a collaboration with PayPal