If you’re constantly scrolling through top editors’ picks for 2018 trends or Instagram inspo from high-end fashion editors to hack into your own style, you might be a fashion fiend. You love learning how women in fashion start their days and got their start in the biz. In this week’s How to Quit Your Day Job series, we chat with Yvonne Niami, the founder of n:PHILANTHROPY, a clothing company that combines fashion with philanthropy, about how she started her celeb-favorite brand.
Meet the fashion Pro: Yvonne niami
Mother-of-two Yvonne Niami currently runs two humanitarian brands, n:Philanthropy, a clothing company; and VIVA XXXII Tequila, a give-back tequila. Niami founded n:PHILANTHROPY in 2015 as a way to marry her two loves — fashion and philanthropy. Part of her business philosophy is giving back 10 percent of her company’s net proceeds toward animal-abuse prevention and pediatric cancer research through organizations such as the ASPCA, SPCALA, and Children’s Hospital LA. The buttery soft staples in her collection — consisting of relaxed T-shirts, jumpsuits, faux leather fringe skirts, and more — give off the laid-back vibe of the Los Angeles native’s neighborhood. Celebs like Jessica Biel, Gal Gadot, Ashley Graham, and Zoe Saldana are fans and can often be spotted on n:PHILANTHROPY’s blog.
Brit + Co: What’s your morning routine?
Yvonne Niami: My morning routine usually consists of waking up at 6am (although I’d much rather sleep in!). I try to do yoga three times a week in the mornings, and I can’t live without my Bullet Proof Coffee. I also eat a healthy breakfast and wake my kids up to get them ready before heading off to work.
B+C: What inspired you to start your company?
YN: Starting n:PHILANTHROPY over four years ago was a dream of mine. I always wanted to meld fashion with philanthropy. At n:PHIL (what we like to call it in the office, since the full name is so darn long), we have managed to do just that. Everyone on our team loves fashion. We love to see the latest looks, whether that be the cool new fashion trends you see while traveling or just going to lunch with friends. Fashion excites us, but we also have big hearts. We love to give back, so our brand donates 10 percent of net proceeds to pediatric cancer research and animal abuse prevention (two causes that are near and dear to us). We also volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles every month. It makes us grounded and grateful. We work that much harder to help where we can.
B+C: Tell us about how your family and friends help support your business.
YN: My friends and family are very supportive. They love n:PHILANTHROPY and wear my brand all the time. They’re always curious about what we have in the pipeline and are very hands-on when it comes to [spreading the word] about my businesses. They tell everyone they know about it. I’m super lucky to have such an amazing tribe.
B+C: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
YN: There are two pieces of advice I try to live by. The first is, “There will always be naysayers. Don’t listen to them.” The second one I love is, “God will always take care of you.” I think that has helped give me the freedom to push myself to do more in life, knowing that no matter what, everything will be okay.
B+C: What do you love about your job?
YN: Fashion is crazy! I won’t lie or sugarcoat it. Only get into it if you absolutely love it, because it’s the hardest business I’ve ever been in. But with that said, the thing I love the most about working in this industry is the fast pace of it all. The ever-changing styles, keeping up with it all, striving to keep our customers happy with our product, do more with giving back. It’s all very fast-paced and exciting. We want customers to fall in love with our brand time and time again, and keeping them happy is one of the challenges I most love.
B+C: Name two heroes who you think should get a shout-out.
YN: I really love Bill and Melinda Gates (they’re a “hero couple” in my mind!). How they have dedicated themselves to do so much in the philanthropic world is so inspiring. They have been so smart about all of their donations, which make every penny they give go that much further.
B+C: If you could tell aspiring creative women anything, what would it would be?
YN: Whatever you are passionate about, roll that into your work. Life is so much more meaningful and worth living when you do things not only for yourself, but also to put good energy out in the world. We need more of that right now.
What’s your dream career? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know, and we could feature it in the next column!
(Yvonne Niami photo via Tyler William Parker; all other photos via n:PHILANTHROPY)