Meet the Maker: Aubrie Pagano of Bow & Drape
Today’s edition of Meet the Maker is the ultimate high tech and high fashion combo: Bow & Drape. It all started when Aubrie Pagano couldn’t find the perfect dress for a wedding. We’ve all been there, right? Well, instead of settling for something off the racks, she decided to make her own. And just like that, Bow & Drape, an online platform for custom fashion, was born. Every piece on the site can be personalized to fit your tastes and is then made-to-order in less than two weeks. Customized clothes delivered to your door? Yes, please!
I’ve personally already customized two dresses of my own (a maxi and an A-line) and love the tailored fit. I get compliments each time I wear them.
To start things off, tell us a little bit about your background and how the idea came about.
I always loved fashion since I was a little girl sketching in my notebooks, but I never really allowed myself to become part of the industry until about two years ago. I had a self reckoning of sorts. I was working at in finance at the time, and knew that I wanted to explore other industries – I was uninspired by the thought of Excel spreadsheets and stakeholder meetings (I know. Shocker). Then one night, while I was tinkering on my Bernina with a pair of self-proclaimed “party pants” I was making for a friend’s birthday, I said to myself “Just face it. You LOVE this stuff.” So I said if the opportunity presented itself, I would make the career jump.
The idea for Bow & Drape came out of a personal need that summer. I was going to a wedding where I would be meeting my boyfriend’s entire family, but I couldn’t find anything off the racks that I felt truly exuded my personal style. So, like a true DIY-er, I ended up making a dress. It took about a month, but when I went to that wedding, I felt amazing in my dress, knowing it was 100% my style and one of a kind. I started Bow & Drape because I want women to feel special in that same way, and to know that their clothing completely embodies the most gorgeous them.
Okay, tell us a little bit more about the Bow & Drape. What’s the one-sentence explanation?
Bow & Drape merges high tech with high fashion, to give you a hand in creating your own products.
What are you proudest of with Bow & Drape to date?
I don’t yet have a puppy or a child, but I assume my feeling for this company is like that of an offspring: I am proud of everything about it! So it’s hard to pinpoint one proudest “thing.” I suppose I would say I am proudest of our progress. Within a year, we have managed to create an incredible fashion line, build an amazing proprietary technology to allow women to customize our line, and have launched industry-leading technologies to augment the experience. When I look back at old wire frames for the original site, or my sketches for the first dresses, I have to smile because it is really quite incredible how much my talented team has been able to progress from that first crazy idea I had.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers or entrepreneurs?
Keep going. I am sure I am not the first person to have this idea, but I AM the first person to do in a big, sustained way against many challenges in the industry. Someone once told me “starting a company is like a constant race against failure.” It has totally felt like a race. And how to you outpace someone in a race? KEEP GOING! Most people get stuck when they get pushback from other people or hear a “no” from a potential partner, or get anxious about an unknown. If you keep chipping away at those big, rocky challenges, eventually they will turn into smooth, sandy wins. Keep going. Chip away at your dreams. They never come true overnight, so be persistent and you will find that they are well-worth the wait.
What’s been the most inspiring thing you’ve seen so far in watching people use Bow & Drape?
Hi, I'm Brit, the founder and CEO of Brit + Co. I'm a young mom of two, tech nerd and design-inclined lady who has a zillion hobbies and curious about... just about everything! My mission from the beginning has been to unlock women's creativity and courage to try new things so that they can find the path to their true passions.